National Emergencies: Canada's Fragile Front Lines 

An Upgrade Strategy

Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence

VOLUME 1I

March 2004


Introducing the Questionnaire Responses 

This appendix contains the 86 responses that the Committee received to an emergency preparedness questionnaire that it distributed to first responders in 100 Canadian municipalities. This was not supposed to be a scientific survey. Rather, the Committee asked open-ended questions in order to give local officials the opportunity to comment freely on their level of preparedness. We believe that a picture of emergency preparedness across Canada emerged from this broad-brush approach.  

The questionnaire responses – along with the answers received to the 2 revised questions – are grouped according to the 4 categorized sizes mentioned at the start of the analysis in Chapter 6. These categories are:  

Category

Classification

# of replies

A

“Very Small” communities of 20,000 to 49,999 people

32

B

“Small” communities of 50,000 to 99,999 people

23

C

“Medium” communities of 100,000 to 499,999 people

23

D

“Large” communities of more than 500,000

8

This categorization was deliberate. For the analysis, it was done to highlight trends that the Committee found in the responses. The Committee maintained this categorization here in the hope that it would spark a dialogue in and amongst communities by allowing them to compare themselves against communities of similar sizes.

The Committee would like to extend its thanks to all those who responded to its questionnaire.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

FIND YOUR CITY

In alphabetical order 
AIRDRIE
ALMA
BARRIE
BELLEVILLE
BRANDON
BROCKVILLE
CALGARY
CAMPBELL RIVER
CAPE BRETON
CHARLOTTETOWN
CHATHAM
CHICOUTIMI
CHILIWACK
CLARINGTON
COLCHESTER
CORNWALL
COWICHAN VALLEY
DRUMMONDVILLE
EDMONTON
FREDERICTON
GATINEAU
GRANBY
GRAND PRAIRIE
GUELPH
HALIFAX
HALTON HILLS
HAMILTON
JOLIETTE
KAMLOOPS
KELOWNA
KINGSTON
KITCHENER
LANGLEY
LAVAL
LEAMINGTON
LETHBRIDGE
LONDON
LONGUEUIL
MEDICINE HAT
MIDLAND
MILTON
MONCTON
MONTRÉAL
MOOSE JAW
NANAIMO
ORANGEVILLE
ORILLIA
OSHAWA
OTTAWA
OWEN SOUND
PARKSVILLE
PENTICTON
PETERBOROUGH
PORT ALBERNI
PRINCE GEORGE
RED DEER
REGINA
SAINT JEAN SUR RICHELIEU
SAINT JOHN
SAINT-GEORGES
SAINT-HYACINTHE
SAINT-JÉRÔME
SALABERRY DE VALLEYFIELD
SARNIA
SASKATOON
SAULT STE. MARIE
SHERBROOKE
SOREL-TRACY
ST. CATHARINES
ST. JOHN’S
STRATFORD
SUDBURY
THETFORD MINES
THUNDER BAY
TORONTO
TROIS RIVIÈRES
VAL D’OR
VANCOUVER
VERNON
VICTORIA
VICTORIAVILLE
WHITE ROCK
WINDSOR
WINNIPEG
WOOD BUFFALO
WOODSTOCK

FIND YOUR CITY

In alphabetical order of province and city

ALBERTA
AIRDRIE
CALGARY
EDMONTON
GRAND PRAIRIE
LETHBRIDGE
MEDICINE HAT
RED DEER

BRITISH COLUMBIA
CAMPBELL RIVER
CHILIWACK
COWICHAN VALLEY
KAMLOOPS
KELOWNA
LANGLEY
NANAIMO
PARKSVILLE
PENTICTON
PORT ALBERNI
PRINCE GEORGE
VANCOUVER
VERNON
VICTORIA
WHITE ROCK
WOOD BUFFALO

MANITOBA
BRANDON
WINNIPEG

NEW-BRUNSWICK
FREDERICTON
MONCTON
SAINT JOHN

NEWFOUNDLAND
ST. JOHN’S

NOVA SCOTIA
CAPE BRETON
COLCHESTER
HALIFAX

ONTARIO
BARRIE
BELLEVILLE
BROCKVILLE
CHATHAM
CLARINGTON
CORNWALL
GUELPH
HALTON HILLS
HAMILTON
KINGSTON
KITCHENER
LEAMINGTON
LONDON
MIDLAND
MILTON
ORANGEVILLE
ORILLIA
OSHAWA
OTTAWA
OWEN SOUND
PETERBOROUGH
SARNIA
SAULT STE. MARIE
ST. CATHARINES
STRATFORD
SUDBURY
THUNDER BAY
TORONTO
WINDSOR
WOODSTOCK

PRINCE-EDWARD-ISLAND
CHARLOTTETOWN

QUÉBEC
ALMA
CHICOUTIMI
DRUMMONDVILLE
GATINEAU
GRANBY
JOLIETTE
LAVAL
LONGUEUIL
MONTRÉAL
SAINT JEAN SUR RICHELIEU
SAINT-GEORGES
SAINT-HYACINTHE
SAINT-JÉRÔME
SALABERRY DE VALLEYFIELD
SHERBROOKE
SOREL-TRACY
THETFORD MINES
TROIS RIVIÈRES
VAL D’OR
VICTORIAVILLE

SASKATCHEWAN
MOOSE JAW
REGINA
SASKATOON

FIND YOUR CITY

By order of size of city

LARGE CITIES
TORONTO
MONTRÉAL
VANCOUVER
CALGARY
EDMONTON
OTTAWA
WINNIPEG
HAMILTON

MEDIUM SIZE CITIES
KITCHENER
LONDON
ST. CATHARINES
VICTORIA
HALIFAX
WINDSOR
OSHAWA
GATINEAU
SASKATOON
REGINA
BARRIE
SHERBROOKE
ST. JOHN’S
TROIS RIVIÈRES
LANGLEY
CHICOUTIMI
KELOWNA
KINGSTON
GUELPH
CAPE BRETON
SUDBURY
THUNDER BAY

SMALL SIZE CITIES
SAINT JOHN
MONCTON
SARNIA
NANAIMO
PETERBOROUGH
SAINT JEAN SUR RICHELIEU
LONGUEUIL
KAMLOOPS
RED DEER
SAULT STE. MARIE
LETHBRIDGE
PRINCE GEORGE
WHITE ROCK
BELLEVILLE
DRUMMONDVILLE
MEDICINE HAT
FREDERICTON
SAINT-JÉRÔME
LAVAL
GRANBY
CHILIWACK
CORNWALL

VERY SMALL SIZE CITIES
SAINT-HYACINTHE
CHATHAM
VERNON
BRANDON
WOOD BUFFALO
CHARLOTTETOWN
SALABERRY DE VALLEYFIELD
SOREL-TRACY
GRAND PRAIRIE
VICTORIAVILLE
PENTICTON
JOLIETTE
WOODSTOCK
MOOSE JAW
CLARINGTON
HALTON HILLS
CAMPBELL RIVER
MIDLAND
STRATFORD
ORILLIA
LEAMINGTON
ALMA
ORANGEVILLE
VAL D’OR
BROCKVILLE
MILTON
OWEN SOUND
COWICHAN VALLEY
THETFORD MINES
COLCHESTER
PARKSVILLE
SAINT-GEORGES
AIRDRIE
PORT ALBERNI

FIND YOUR CITY


Toronto
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

Revised July 8, 2003

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

The response to this questionnaire is in accordance with the request from the Standing Committee on National Security and Defence.  It should be noted that, in addition to this response, Toronto has made two previous representations before the Committee.   The first was a letter dated January 29, 2002, from Dr. Sheela Basrur, Toronto Medical Officer of Health, and the second was an appearance before the Committee during the afternoon sitting on Monday, May 6, 2002, by Julian Fantino, Chief of Toronto Police Service. 

My name is Warren Leonard and I am the Manager of the City of Toronto, Office of Emergency Management, Technical Services Division of the Works & Emergency Services Department.  I have been directly involved full-time in emergency management in the City of Toronto (and former Metro) for over 15 years, since 1988.   I am one of only a handful of Canadians who has been certified as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) through the International Association of Emergency Managers, achieved in 1997, and re-certified in 2002.

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

Toronto is a highly urbanized area and  has a population of 2.5 million people (5 million in the GTA - Greater Toronto Area ). Toronto covers 641 sq. km. and stretches 43 km from east to west and 21 km from north to south at its longest points.  The perimeter is approximately 180 km. Population density 3869/km2.  34.8 per cent of the city's area is residential; 7.8 per cent industrial, 2.3 per cent commercial, 7.3 per cent institutional (schools, universities, churches and cemeteries).

Toronto is home to 90% of Canada’s foreign banks and 80% of the largest R&D, law, advertising and high-tech firms.  Nearly all Canadian banks and financial sector companies have their head office in Toronto.  There are 75,000 businesses employing 1.2 million people, which is one sixth of all Canadian jobs.

There are 90 foreign consulates in Toronto.  We are home to the 4th largest airport in North America and we operate the 2nd largest transit system in North America handling 450 million passengers each year.

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

The City of Toronto is faced with a variety of risks that could require a mass casualty response, including major industrial land use, an international airport, 3 smaller airports, a port, major highway 401, miles of railway, subway, trans-Canada pipeline, densely populated, major sporting venues with capacities exceeding 50,000, high-rise residential and office towers, tourist attractions, etc. 

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

There are emergencies every day in Toronto.  (See 2.3 answered below for the legal definition of an emergency in Ontario)  Events that might be considered an emergency in other jurisdictions occur with some frequency in Toronto, however the resource base of a large urban centre enables frequent emergencies to be handles routinely.  However, the surge capacity for events that go beyond ‘routine’ operations can seriously stress our resources, personnel, equipment, and systems.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

Natural Events - severe weather, floods, blizzards, tornadoes, food or human health emergencies

Human-Caused Events & Accidental Hazards - incidents that accidentally or intentionally do harm to public safety and security, civil disorder, bomb threats, improvised explosive devices and improvised dispersal devices.  Chemical, biological, radiological and/or nuclear agents may be used on their own, or in combination with these devices.

Technological & Infrastructure Disruptions - incidents involving hazardous materials, utility and power failures, transportation accidents, aircraft crashes, water supply failures, building or structural collapse, critical resource shortages, or computer-related incidents

Nuclear - Although construction and operation of nuclear power plants are closely monitored and regulated, an accident, though unlikely, is possible at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station.

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

As Canada’s largest municipality, Toronto is a potential target for terrorism, over an above the threats outlined above in 2.1.  While we recognize the level of professionalism that exists among our first responders, the training and equipment is primarily focused on the routine delivery of emergency services known to be required in a large urban centre.   Surge capacity on a variety of levels (personnel, equipment, systems, facilities, etc.) is a serious concern.

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A major emergency is determined by its impact on the municipality, and the extent to which existing resources are depleted.  The legal definition is found in the Ontario Emergency Management Act (“a situation or impending situation, caused by the forces of nature, an accident, an intentional act or otherwise that constitutes a danger of major proportions to life or property”).  Similar to the question being posed here, the interpretative word in ‘major’ and needs to be assessed on a per-event basis.

In more practical and concrete terms, a municipal emergency can be identified as an event that is beyond the capacity and/or ability of the municipal resources to respond.

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

Depending upon the product, the amount and the location, this may be considered a major emergency, however, Toronto experiences daily hazmat calls and we do not declare an emergency, if it does not overtax our resources.  The size and scope issue applies here.

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agents to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

25 illnesses per day due to an act of terrorism would be a major emergency.  100 illnesses per day due to an intentional act of terrorism would be a major emergency.  As we have seen with the SARS outbreak, the entire health care system is stressed beyond its surge capacity in such events.  Specifically at the municipal level, the public health resources required to investigate, make patient contact, track the illness, etc. is where our system would be strained.

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

1000 persons displaced from their homes for a long-period of time would pose a major emergency, however whether an emergency is declared would be assessed at the time, based on our ability to provide mass care.

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

Criteria, such as being requested  for here has not been determined because of the large number of variables that have a direct affect, e.g., time of year, location, number of people affected, economic impact, other resource stresses, etc. etc.  The determination can only be made at the time based on the totality of the event.

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

Toronto has a long history of emergency management activities, including plans, exercises, training, speciality teams, etc.   Emergency management is a cyclic process, whereby plans, training, exercises, speciality teams, risks, etc. are continually being reviewed, revised and improved.  While there is an element of readiness, we must be vigilant in our efforts to increase our hazard identification, risk assessment, mitigation measures, preparedness activities, response operations and recovery efforts.

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

In addition to our locally funded initiative to develop a properly trained and equipped Joint CBRN response team, we support the findings of the January 1999 report of the Special Senate Committee on Security and Intelligence, which recommends that the federal government:

support the training of first responders across Canada to identify and respond appropriately to a nuclear, biological or chemical attack;

ensure that first responders receive the protective and diagnostic equipment they require to respond appropriately to such an attack;

establish a national inventory of equipment and other assets available throughout the country to respond to a nuclear, biological or chemical attack;

conduct regular joint training exercises among staff from the DND, the RCMP and first responders throughout the country; and

encourage the proliferation of training and equipping of first responders on the National Capital model or some enhanced version.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

Toronto has money, people and equipment commensurate with our size based on the delivery of services we provide to 2.5 million people on a regular basis.  Some backup personnel and equipment is available, depending upon skills required, and equipment needed.  There is no ‘cache’ of personnel kept in reserve for emergencies, and the only ‘cache’ of equipment kept in reserve for emergencies is related to speciality teams such as HUSAR.  All other equipment is operationally deployed.

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

It depends upon a variety of variables, such as; nature of the emergency, number of people affected, how they are affected, what their needs are, time of year, number of sites, etc.  Surrounding municipal regional assistance could arrive fairly shortly due to the close proximity of our neighbouring regions, dependent upon availability, unless they too are affected by the emergency.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

Toronto has recognized the need for, and is  moving towards a more unified communications structure within the emergency services.  We also recognize that this can always be improved for disaster applications when normal business connections are severely stressed.  We constantly strive to strike a balance between the needs required for daily operations vs. costs expended for exclusively disaster related resources.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Yes, with the request and cooperation of the media, but not unilaterally.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

YES, particularly at the federal level.  Since response to emergencies begins at the local level, it is imperative that the local voice be heard at federal and provincial levels because it is the local resources that deliver the services, and operationalize response plans.  This is especially pertinent during disaster response.

Since traditional arrangements call for municipalities to be supported by the provincial government, and provinces are supported by the federal government, a situation has been created whereby there is no direct access between the local and federal level.  Reliance on traditional federal-provincial-municipal arrangements to prepare for and respond to emergencies has prevented a national approach to emergency management challenges and emerging initiatives.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

Building upon existing communications programs already in place (e.g., West Nile Virus, Y2K preparedness, etc), the public is being educated through existing media (pamphlets, Internet) on personal preparedness.  These costs are all being borne by the municipality.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

Some, depending upon the emergency and the supplies.  Generally, at the local level we don’t have the luxury of purchasing equipment for stockpile.  Rather, our stores are related to on-going operational needs, with provision to increase supplies as warranted.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

Response to an emergency begins with the local municipal resources, federal support of those resources should be the priority during an emergency.  Streamlining the linkages between the federal and local municipalities will greatly assist this process.

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

No.  There are 2.5 million Canadians living in the City of Toronto, and over 5 million in the GTA.  Training and exercising emergency plans requires the appropriate staff and support resources to coordinate the plans, deliver the training and produce worthwhile exercises. 

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

As noted above, response to an emergency takes place at the local level.  Municipalities are the ones who operationalize plans and deliver the emergency response to the public.  We plan for a 72 hour and beyond time period where we will be on our own.  Provincial delivery of front-line emergency services is extremely limited.  Federal assets are largely unknown at the local level, and, as already noted, we are constrained by the traditional arrangements between federal-provincial-municipal relationships.   We have experienced first hand during the SARS response, that an emergency of sufficient magnitude to be considered a disaster is beyond the ability of the local municipality to cover the costs without provincial and federal assistance.

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

Yes.  However, we are constrained by standard federal-provincial-municipal arrangements that prevents direct federal-municipal interaction.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

Yes, JEPP is the main funding request process.  However, the JEPP process is completely out-of-sync with local budgeting and spending cycles.  It is extremely awkward to work within, and hampers our emergency preparedness financing.  This problem has been repeatedly expressed to provincial and federal officials over the years.

Several provincial and federal budget announcements for enhanced emergency preparedness have been made over the last 18 months, but for the most part, they pertain to provincial and federal programs.  Municipal first responders do not have access to sufficient resources, training, equipment or personnel to ensure they are able to respond appropriately to an emergency or terrorist attack.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

OCIPEP should be developing national standards on emergency management issues, equipment interoperability for speciality teams (e.g., HUSAR, CBRN).  In particular, OCIPEP should actively seek  local input to their projects.  It is at the local level where the services are delivered.  It is at the local level that emergency response is first operationalized.  Policy and managerial oversight is not what is needed by municipalities during a crisis.

From a local perspective, we look to the federal government to support municipalities in terms of training, equipment and other assets necessary to ensure they are able to identify risks, prepare plans, have sufficient properly trained personnel with necessary equipment to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public we serve, the public that depends on us, the public that expects us to.

Since traditional arrangements call for municipalities to be supported by the provincial government, and provinces are supported by the federal government, a situation has been created whereby there is no direct access between the local and federal level.  Reliance on traditional federal-provincial-municipal arrangements to prepare for and respond to emergencies has prevented a national approach to emergency management challenges and emerging initiatives.

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

Despite local first responders being first on scene, rescuing, evacuating, acting as Incident Commanders, media spokespersons, etc., in short, delivering all emergency response, municipalities tend to be marginalized in federal emergency planning, which occurs in concert with provinces and territories.  There is a gap between federal, provincial and municipal emergency management initiatives, resulting in a reduced collective ability to prepare for a major emergency, especially in large urban centres such as Toronto.  Information sharing across and between the various governments remains very limited.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

Not personally, but through Toronto Public Health.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

Not directly, but the structure of our plan is such that intelligence and other law enforcement linkages are part of the Toronto Police responsibilities.  Recognition that intelligence needs to be more widely shared is clear.  Intelligence information should be disseminated through an ‘accreditation’ process (e.g., Confidential, Secret, Top Secret) extended to the local level, where the impact of the risks are, and more importantly, where the response takes place.  Law enforcement is not the only group that needs intelligence information.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

It is necessarily linked through the provincial authorities who have made is very clear, municipalities are not allowed to access federal level resources directly.  During an emergency, this process needs to be streamlined, and therefore linkages need to be made earlier during the planning process.


Toronto
Ontario
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

 No

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Toronto is one of the most media saturated markets in North America.  When a major event occurs in Toronto it is well communicated through the media in all forms.  There is no single system that will notify all people effectively accounting for the four long-standing, problematic variables of public alerting, i.e., Inside/Outside, Daytime/Nightime.  However, multiple systems will increase the likelihood of alerting a greater number of people, and therefore Toronto would benefit from the system described above.

(a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

The services provided by municipalities are very different than those provided by the provincial government.  When we need help in an emergency, it is often in the way of front-line operational assistance.  Often this type of support is not readily available from the Province.

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

It has been our experience that the City of Toronto is better positioned to provided key services direct to the public.  In an emergency, the City needs assistance in terms of front-line operational support (people, equipment, vehicles, etc.) working under the direction of the municipal responders (emergency services, public health, building inspectors, works, etc.).  The size and scope of the event will determine how much help is required.  It has been our experience that this kind of resource does not exist at the provincial level in ways we can effectively utilize during an emergency.


Montreal
Quebec

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip over any statement that does not apply.

1.  Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

I  have been the director of the City of Montreal’s Emergency Preparedness Centre (EPC)  since the January 2002 mergers and I  was already director of this same Centre in 1991, under the jurisdiction of the Montreal Urban Community  (MUC). In the  MUC era,  the Centre provided overall coordination for the 28 municipalities composing  its territory.  These municipalities were  in immediate charge of co-ordinating their own emergency measures.  The  City  of Montreal now provides first-line coordination for central services as well as for its 27 boroughs.

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

The City of Montreal is composed almost entirely of a very dense urban fabric.  Its  negligible agricultural activities are all located in the  west end of  the City. The City ‘s 49,600 hectares or 496 kilometres are home to 1.8 million inhabitants. There are 3,629 inhabitants per square kilometre.

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

The City of Montreal’s industrial sector counts about 3,000 large, midsized, and small firms.  More than 180 of these firms process, produce, or store hazardous materials which, in the event of a major industrial accident, would threaten the health or life of citizens living in their vicinity.  Montreal East’s industrial sector, with its petrochemical industries, must be a major focus of public security prevention and preparedness.

The City also has an international airport, a major port, and several train yards—one of which is a hub for shipping between east and west Canada and between Canada and the United States.

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

The torrential rains on July 14, 1987

Storms poured down 59 to 181 mm of rain in four hours, between 1 p.m.  and 5 p.m.

The storms were accompanied by strong winds

Two persons lost their life.

Total damages of $40 M  (1987) and damages of $13.3  paid out to victims.

Numerous local floods, notably in viaducts and sunken streets or roads,   

            including the Décarie expressway.

Numerous trees uprooted; 400 vehicles abandoned on highways; metro

            shutdowns lasting from 4 hours to 2 days, depending on the lines.

350,000 homes without electricity for several hours and several for up to four days; 40, 000 homes were flooded.

Business activities disrupted or shut down.

 

The ice storm from the 5th to the 9th of January 1998

The ice storm ravaged an area stretching from Lake Ontario to the Bay of       Fundy ; it hit Ontario, Quebec,  New York state, New England, and the Maritimes.

Almost the whole territory of the then existing Montreal Urban Community  (equivalent to the current City of Montreal)  was  struck by the storm.

The storm struck in three successive  episodes of freezing rain, totalling more than 80 mm in Montreal.

At the height of the storm, 300, 000 to 1,400, 000 citizens suffered major     power failures.

On the 9th of January, the production of potable water was shut down for more than eight hours.

Major damage to essential infrastructures occurred.

Total shutdown of downtown core: shutdown of all socio-economic activity.

The Canadian armed forces  were mobilized in Montreal for  a few days.

Shelters to house 30, 000 people were opened and a maximum of 12,000 would be used.

Number of days the Emergency Co-ordination Centre operated; 8 days.

Number of work days lost by firms and institutions: 4 to 5 days.

Lives lost:  5 deaths.

138,000 trees damaged: two-thirds of the City’s total.

Total costs of the ice storm in Quebec:  $3 billion.

2.  What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your  community?

Here is a brief extract from Montreal’s  Emergency Preparedness Policy which describes the risks existing on the territory of the City.

“Risk management aims at reducing the City’s vulnerability to dangers threatening it.  It takes different forms, depending on the categories of risks (…)

2.1.1   There are three categories of natural risks:

Risk of climatic disorders
Risk of earthquake
Risk of major floods

The natural risks most likely to strike the City must be identified, analyzed, evaluated, and managed at three levels:  by Quebec, by the Greater Metropolitan Region of Montreal, and by the City of Montreal itself. Risks of natural disasters pose such potentially widespread effects and entail such tremendous research needs that the City cannot assume the responsibility of documenting these risks alone. It can however act as a partner with higher levels of government, universities, or other research bodies.  Once the natural risks have been identified and analyzed, the City will be better equipped to mitigate their effects and manage their consequences.

2.1.2   There are four categories of technological risks:

Risk of major industrial accidents at a fixed site
Risks linked to the transportation of hazardous materials
Risks linked to passenger travel (planes, trains, metro, buses)
New risks posed by more recent technologies such as IT, biotechnologies, nuclear power, etc.

The City’s interface with high-risk installations will be managed based on theprinciple of joint city-industry planning.  Such planning can either take placeon a citywide basis or at the level of one or more boroughs.  The model using        mixed city-industry committees already has a proven track record at the City level and this model must be applied wherever justified by the location of high-risk installations on the City’s territory.  The obligation to declare risks stipulated in the Act Respecting the Protection of Persons and Property in the Event of a Disaster can be incorporated in this model or else enforced through by-laws.

2.1.3  Biological risks , such as epidemics, pandemics, highly contagious viruses:

Managing this type of risk is the responsibility of the Public Health Department of the Montreal Centre Régie régionale de la Santé et des services sociaux and of its network of establishments.  The Public Health Department is expected to inform the City of any risk whose impact would be catastrophic for the population, so that the appropriate city departments can provide the support required.  Public health authorities are also expected to play the leadership role in dialoguing with the relevant external agents.

2.1.4  Risks of social unrest, such as terrorism, sabotage, riots, hostage taking,  massacres. widespread looting, etc.:

Terrorism and other such incidents are considered criminal acts and, as such, fall under police jurisdiction. Managing the consequences of such acts is a matter of public security. For this, two parallel command structures come into play.

One of these structures—composed of the City’s police force, the government of Quebec, and even the government of Canada— will handle the criminal aspect of such acts. In parallel, the civil security structure of the City of Montreal and the Quebec government will step in to provide co-ordination between all the levels involved.  As concerns the co-ordination of those handling the consequences of such events, the City’s emergency preparedness co-ordinator will assume this task at the City level and will appoint a site manager from the Police Department to co-ordinate those working at the site.

2.1.5   Risks to essential infrastructures (possibly caused by one of the above-mentioned incidents) are:

Major power failures
Major failure of water purification system
Lack of adequate gas and fuel supplies
Failure of communication systems
Failure of computer systems
Major shortages in the food chain
Disruptions in transportation networks

A consultation group composed of essential-services representatives will be set up to prevent risks to essential services, to reduce their vulnerability, to ensure their best protection, and to manage the interfaces critical to the life and safety of citizens.

2.1.6  Risks to  heritage sites (architectural, natural, objects, and archives:

The City must pay special attention to the management of risks to heritage treasures, in collaboration with heritage organizations and with the institutions to which such treasures belong.  The City must ensure that the cultural heritage entrusted to its care is adequately protected, especially thearchives which record the history and memory of institutions and ensure the proper management of public and private affairs.  This concern will be progressively reflected in the plans drawn up to respond to emergencies and to ensure the continuity of the City’s departments and boroughs.

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

The City of Montreal has drawn up an Emergency Preparedness Plan which is divided into three parts:

The central module which describes the city’s public security structure, its strategic coordination process, and its tactical and operational co-ordination on the ground.

Specific emergency-response plans designed to direct the various operations of central departments.

Emergency-response plans for the 27 boroughs, touching on communications.
aid for victims, and public works.

Given the merger of 28 municipalities and  of the MUC into the new City of Montreal, the current plan is considered only temporary. It will  soon be officially adopted  by  City Council.

2.3 For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of       these examples qualify?

·        A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

·        The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days?

·        How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

·        A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people?

·        How about 1, 000? How   about 10, 000?

·        How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

All these examples are more than plausible, if we refer to the response to question 2.1 above.

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency?     Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

The City of Montreal can call on massive resources  should a major disaster occur on its territory. It has a well-structured organization headed by an Emergency Preparedness Committee; it has 31,000 employees at its service ,and a third of them could be mobilized in response to a major disaster.  Not to mention the resources the City’s partners would contribute.

The City has all the equipment it needs and all the agreements required to gain access to any equipment it might lack.

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency:  Resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

The scenario ”Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives” would only arise if there were a catastrophe causing mass destruction, such as a major earthquake.  Not that this is impossible.  But, in that event, the resources of higher levels of government would plausibly be overwhelmed themselves, since a disaster of such proportions would certainly affect a  much larger territory than just that of the City of  Montreal.

The future state of preparedness sought by the City should take this eventuality into consideration.  In all other cases, the City will be able to hold its own and manage the crisis quite well.

However, some provincial and federal agencies with exclusive powers may be called upon to play back-up roles  at the onset of a catastrophe; they would then be treated as  the City’s partners and not as envoys of  higher governments.  Examples:  Environment Canada, Environment Quebec, Montreal Public Health Department.

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

The City of Montreal is  willing to join in any national or provincial plan designed to co-ordinate  any activities in these domains where causes and consequences  go beyond the municipal level. This is already the situation in the case of  terrorism.

It would be more appropriate to speak of joint planning rather than of ad hoc assistance.  Though there is no reason to exclude the eventuality of such ad hoc assistance, it must be only a last resort. This is to avoid the additional confusion unplanned assistance from outside can create in a city as complex as Montreal.

The intervention of the Canadian armed forces during the 1998 ice storm  is one example which, in the sense just described,  should not be repeated.  In the future, it would be preferable if any help  from the armed forces  were planned jointly.  And it won’t do for military leaders to refuse such joint planning by hiding behind their inability to guarantee their services.  Such planning  is not about guaranteeing services, but it is about guaranteeing  that any services provided will be more appropriate and better orchestrated.

3.  Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment?     Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

The City of Montreal’s financial, human, and material resources are impressive;  its equipment is in keeping with a budget of  $3.6 billion and human resources numbering  31,000 employees.  The City can thus count on abundant reserves and back-up,  especially when the resources of its contractual suppliers  are taken into account.

 3.2      How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

What might force the City to turn to either planned or ad hoc outside resources is  not so much a question of timing as a matter of  obtaining certain specialized resources  it might not have on hand.

In the event of mass destruction,  the City would obviously have to call on the government of Quebec which might in turn have to call in the federal government.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

The planning and preparedness efforts of the cities in the Greater Montreal Region could be co-ordinated by a regional structure at the level of the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC).  As things now stand, the MMC does not have the competence to assume this role.  By default, this role could be played by the Montreal-Laval-Laurentides-Lanaudière Regional Public Security Department of Quebec’s   Public Security Ministry, but this would not cover Montreal’s South Shore which comes under another regional jurisdiction.

No public security co-ordinating structure has as yet been established for  Greater Montreal in response to the Quebec government’s municipal reform and the new Act  Respecting the Protection of Persons and of Property in the Event of  a Disaster.  Judging from the deafness to demands on this subject,  it has not been a priority, nor even a concern.  That being said,  the lack of such a structure is not  a recipe for disaster for Montreal, when the impressive resources  at its disposal are taken into account.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

The City cannot interrupt television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit alerts and instructions in the event of major disasters.  This is  regrettable, for it would be an extraordinary,  though not perfect, means of reaching the population:  people are not always tuned into television or radio and, in the event of power failures, this means would be useless. However, despite such limitations,  no means should be overlooked in the all-out effort to protect life and health in the case of a major disaster.

Attempts have already been made to obtain the authorization to set up such a television-radio alert system, but the CRTC did not approve the project presented at the time.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

Over the years,  the City of Montreal has developed and maintained very tight and fruitful links with several bodies of the Quebec and federal levels of government.  We have successfully gotten around administrative red tape to gain access to the resources most relevant to the City’s needs.

Reciprocal communication links have been developed with the Canadian armed forces.  However,  exchange of information does not suffice in itself. There must also be joint planning.  The armed forces are not yet willing to accept this, despite a growing openness to “civilians” as they  sometimes  condescendingly say.

This being said,  we keep in mind that , on a human level, the City of Montreal maintains excellent relations  with representatives of the armed forces .

4.  Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e. homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

Folders are available at certain strategic locations in the City ; an Internet site gives full information on risks; an information campaign is now underway in Montreal East’s petrochemical industrial sector, in view of warning the population of major risks and of preparing it for a possible siren alert in the event of a major industrial accident.

A three-day preparedness program designed to make citizens self-reliant in an emergency is now being developed and will be introduced in 2004, notably as part of the communications project on risks in Montreal East.

The program meets one of the major objectives of the City of Montreal’s  Emergency Preparedness Policy.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur?  Yes   X   No. Could you elaborate?

Supplies for an intake unit for the wounded (URB: Unité de rassemblement des blessés) are now being warehoused on the City’s behalf in the Saint-Laurent borough. This URB is headed by the Montreal-Centre Régie régionale de la Santé et des Services sociaux and supplied by Health Canada.

Approximately 55,000 cots warehoused in the Mont-Royal borough are  available for use in the  whole of the City  and Quebec.  The warehouse is run by the Quebec Division of the Canadian Red Cross.

Items of used and reconditioned furniture are warehoused by SOS (Services aux sinistrés: Assistance to Victims);  distribution of these items is controlled by an agreement with the Red Cross.

Many of the boroughs’ contractual suppliers are capable of supplying necessities to disaster victims.

5.  How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal governments most immediate priorities?

The federal government should make its Joint Emergency Preparedness Program (JEPP) more flexible, so that it is more accessible and less encumbered by administrative red tape.  This program should notably arrange to pay subsidies a priori rather than as reimbursements on bills submitted by the City.

The distribution of available funds  among  the provinces  should be reviewed so as to ensure greater equity.

The  Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (HUSAR) program should have funds to cover not only equipment but also operational costs, in as much as the HUSAR unit is meant to serve all the cities of Quebec and Canada.   The federal and provincial governments should cover 75% of  equipment and operational costs; the City of Montreal would then assume residual costs.

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

How can the City  be satisfied, since it has received only indirect credits for training and test exercise?  The flexibility advocated for the  JEPP in response to question 5.1  should free up funding for training and test exercises.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government?  How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

The  new Act Respecting the Protection of Persons and Property in the Event of Disaster provides a  reference framework for financial assistance.  In the past, such assistance was the subject of ad hoc decrees adapted to each disaster.  As a rule, the federal government reimburses the major part of the funds granted by Quebec.

Quebec has always been quite quick  to respond with immediate bail-out but very slow to step in with assistance for major damage.   The assistance provided did not adequately cover economic losses, which are the worst damages, given their structural nature. The loss of  economic activities is worse than immediate material losses.  Yet this loss is the  one most often overlooked.

A federal and/or provincial fund should be created out of a tax on insurance to ensure the compensation of victims and cities.  This fund should be administered by a government agency  that would be free of all political interference and independent of the tax system, so as to ensure the adequate constitution and equitable distribution of its funds.

With respect to the federal government

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens?  Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

In a major emergency, the City will count on receiving federal assistance via the Quebec government. This assistance is not based on any understanding between the City and the federal level, but perhaps the Quebec government has  one. Rather than an understanding between governments, it would seem more relevant to advocate an understanding  between an independent federal  agency and the provinces, or between an independent provincial agency and the municipalities.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

As already mentioned in 5.1, the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program both helps and hinders the City’s efforts to improve its response capacity.  It helps because it does ensure a certain degree of funding, but  it hinders with its rules which are   bewildering  enough to discourage the program’s use, especially its rules applying to the reimbursement of bills.

The program should not just aim at  improving  emergency response but also, and above all,  at improving the prevention and mitigation of risks  along with the City’s capacity to inform its citizens about risk and  about  its general state of preparedness.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

We can express neither satisfaction nor dissatisfaction with regard to national-level orientation and co-ordination  that we do not know well.  We are only  familiar with the co-ordination that the OCIPEP provides in Quebec, and, while we find it adequate, it seems too dependent on a national orientation which lacks transparency.

5.7       Are you confident the OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency?  Please explain.

We are confident that the OCIPEP  should be able to co-ordinate a national-level response to a major disaster.  But  what is a national-level disaster? This must be more precisely defined. Would OCIPEP co-ordination subject the province and its municipalities to federal authority?  This would not do.  No more than would provincial co-ordination subjecting  a city to provincial authority—unless the city in question had been declared incapable of co-ordinating its services and partners.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1,600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada.  Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache?  Yes     No X   Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches?  Yes  No X. Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of the contents?

No.  We have been vaguely informed of the existence of such caches, but our knowledge of them stops there.  Given Montreal’s densely built-up urban fabric, this resource would not be a priority, unless a disaster involving mass destruction of housing should occur —particularly in winter.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included?  How much help is anticipated from these departments?

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent is involved in the Anti-terrorist Advisory Committee (CAAM; Comité aviseur anti-terrorist), but not in the other planning bodies.  The Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada are in contact with the City’s Police Department, but not with regard to emergency response.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND  in a major emergency? 

As mentioned in our response to question 2.6, there is no link between our  Emergency Preparedness Plan and that of the armed forces, if this is what is meant by the DND.  As we said, we expect joint planning  so as to ensure well-orchestrated  response on the ground in a major emergency.   Such joint planning must, however, respect the provincial jurisdiction in public security matters.

Jean-Bernard Guindon
Director
Emergency Preparedness Centre
City of Montreal
827 Crémazie Boulevard East, Office 350
Montreal (QC)
H2M 2T8
514-280-4037

Montreal
SUMMARY

MUNICIPAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS  POLICY

OVERVIEW

The municipal emergency preparedness policy applies to all of the City of Montreal’s departments, whether central, decentralized or borough as well as to all of its para-municipal corporations and to all external bodies that will adhere to the City’s policy.

The policy identifies the field of emergency preparedness which  would cover any disaster striking the City, as defined in the Act Respecting the Protection of Persons and of Property in the Event of a Disaster.  Definitions of a major disaster, a minor disaster, and a crisis are provided in the policy.

The municipal emergency preparedness policy is designed to ensure the protection of Montreal’s citizens, both individual and corporate, and of their goods and environment. In an emergency, it would ensure the protection of the City’s employees and of the installations and systems that play a critical role in maintaining essential services for citizens, before and after a disaster.

The principal objectives the current policy has formulated in pursuit of these goals are as follows: to identify the types of risks existing on the City’s territory; to ensure the basic elements needed to set up the Emergency Preparedness Organization and the Municipal Emergency Preparedness Plan and, to this purpose, to determine levels of decision-making and responsibility in the City, while also identifying the city’s public security management structures.

To deal with the complex systems which characterize urban life and the catastrophes that may threaten them, two principles are stated.

The ethical principle states that all emergency-response agents, whether employed by the City or external, have the common mission of protecting or maintaining human life, of preventing or reducing the destruction of             personal goods and of the collective heritage, and of mitigating impacts on the environment.

The principle of co-ordination states that in every emergency response all agents—both external and internal, each according to his mission—must join forces to restore order.  Co-ordination will be guided by the unifying authority of the mayor and his representative, the municipal co-ordinator of public security.

RISK MANAGEMENT

The City of Montreal is situated in the heart of an agglomeration of three (3) million inhabitants, where major risks can produce catastrophic effects requiring a state of well-orchestrated preparedness.

The City is responsible for and dependent on infrastructures essential to the life of its citizens and to the operations of firms which supply critical goods and services to individuals, families, and the population as a whole.

Risk management is aimed at reducing the City’s vulnerability to the dangers which threaten it.  In the absence of an official Emergency Preparedness Organization but with no intention of restricting its future development, the policy points out and describes the risks known to date:

Natural risks (climatic disorders, earthquakes, major floods

Technological risks (major industrial accidents at a fixed site, transportation of passengers and of hazardous materials, IT, biotechnology, nuclear, etc.)

Biological risks (epidemics, pandemics, highly contagious virus,etc.)

Risks connected with civil disorders (terrorism, sabotage, riots, hostage taking, massacres, widespread looting, etc.)

Risks to essential infrastructures (major power failure, major failure of the supply of potable water, scarcity of fuel and gas, failure of communications and computer systems, major shortages in the food chain and disruptions of transportation networks.)

Risks to heritage sites (architectural, natural), objects, and archives

The best way to prevent risks is to avoid their occurrence.  This is why the City’s Public Security Departments (Police Department, Fire Department, and Emergency Preparedness Centre) and all other relevant bodies and departments must notify City Council of any decision falling within their sphere of expertise which could have an impact on the security of citizens.

FOUNDATIONS OF THE MUNICIPAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS      PLAN

The Municipal Emergency Preparedness Plan calls on the participation of all departments concerned and describes the organization of the operations involved: prevention, preparedness, intervention, or recovery.  The emergency preparedness plans of the boroughs and other specific intervention plans form an integral part of the Municipal Emergency Preparedness Plan.

The Act Respecting the Protection of Persons and of Property in the Event of a Disaster  urges citizens to assume the responsibility of taking minimal precautions to prevent disasters and to protect themselves should they occur.  An international norm urges citizens to plan to survive on their own for three days following a disaster, either as individuals, families or neighbourhood units.

People who are more vulnerable because they live with limited mobility (some 10% of the population) will be identified and located both in private and institutional dwellings (with no invasion of privacy), in order to facilitate contacts with them and to give them priority assistance in an emergency.

The four levels of co-ordination

Political:  The mayor and borough presidents are linked; the mayor will set up a mayoral emergency response committee or a crisis management cell

Strategic: The Municipal Emergency Preparedness Co-ordinator will act at this level in the City’s Emergency Co-ordination Centre, along with representatives of operational and support services.

Tactical:  Two places of local co-ordination:

The disaster-site manager will work out of the on-site EmergencyCentre.

The borough president will work out of the Borough Emergency Centre to co-ordinate off-site borough services

The top decision-making process of Montreal’s Emergency Preparedness body in an emergency:

City Council can declare a state of emergency lasting for  a period of five days and, if the Council is not in a position to act, the Mayor can do so for  a period of 48 hours.

The Executive Committee and the Mayor can authorize any extraordinary expenditures required.

The borough president will inform the Mayor about the state of affairs in his borough.

The Director General will make the decisions within his competence and facilitate the Co-ordinator’s task.

The Municipal Co-ordinator of Emergency Preparedness will, in addition to his above-described function, recommend to the Mayor and City Council any measures needed which go beyond his competence.

The Co-ordinator of Communications will give whatever strategic advice falls within his competence and execute the decisions of the Mayor and

Co-ordinator in matters of public communications.

The Municipal Emergency Preparedness Committee will participate in the activities of the Emergency Co-ordinating Centre.

The Emergency Preparedness Centre will give strategic advice at all levels of disaster management and support the operations of the Emergency Co-ordinating Centre.

The great majority of the City’s administrative units will be called on to play a role in the Municipal Emergency Preparedness Plan. In the appendix to the policy, you will find the specific roles to be played which fall outside of the administrative unit’s normal mandate.

Contributions expected from external organizations

The Quebec Ministry of Public Security is expected to collaborate with the City’s Emergency Co-ordinating Centre

The health and social services network is expected to co-ordinate its CLSC services with the boroughs, and ambulance and hospital services are expected to be ready to respond adequately to any massive influx of wounded.

As concerns the education network:  Aside from providing research and analysis of risks and public security training, universities, colleges, and public schools are  expected to help house the population in an emergency.

The City recognizes the support role community and humanitarian organizations can play in assisting disaster victims and in minor search and rescue operations.

High-risk installations are reserved a place on any Mixed City-Industrial Committee, whether existing or future; installations subject to the by-law ensuing from Chapter III of the Act Respecting the Protection of Persons and of Property in the Event of a Disaster    will be obliged to declare their risks.

Heritage organizations are urged to help protect heritage sites (architectural, natural), objects, and archives.

Training and test exercises

For employees involved in the plan, the City will set up a training program to give them the opportunity to take the courses they need to carry out their tasks.

The Municipal Emergency Preparedness Plan must also be tested with regular exercises to make sure that it is functional and with simulations to ensure that it is response-ready at all times.

Financial management measures in an emergency

The Municipal Emergency Preparedness Plan must provide that, in an emergency, a system of accountability will be set up to ensure a rigourous compilation of expenditures, so that accounts can be rendered to City Council and the Ministry  of Public Security for reimbursement.

THE MUNICIPAL EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS COMMITTEE

Mandate

The Committee brings together major internal and external partners to plan and manage the City’s emergency preparedness.

The Committee sets orientations for conducting emergency preparedness affairs and checks the results.

In an emergency, the Committee may, if need be, meet to provide guidance and advice to the Emergency Co-ordinator. In that case, any partner useful to the conduct of its activities may be invited to attend.

Composition

Presided over by the municipal co-ordinator or by his representative, the Municipal Emergency Preparedness Committee is composed of 25 members representing elected officials, external and City emergency services, corporate services, the boroughs, firms involved in the operation and maintenance of essential infrastructures, the health milieu, and the educational milieu.

Task forces

There are eight task forces attached to the Municipal Emergency Preparedness Committee; they include: borough directors, those involved in assistance to victims, communicators, public works, essential infrastructures, Heavy Urban Search and Rescue, city-industry relations, and heritage protection.

COMMUNICATIONS WITH CITIZENS, EMPLOYEES AND EXTERNAL ORGANIZATIONS

The policy provides for the development and update of programs to communicate with citizens, employees, departments, external organizations, and the media.

The City invests in informing citizens about the risks they face and about the measures taken by the City and business enterprises to prevent, mitigate or cope with disasters; these measures are formulated at three levels: in the boroughs, in Mixed City-Industry Committees, and as part of the future Emergency Preparedness Organization, as stipulated in the Act Respecting  the Protection of Persons and Property in  the Event  of a Disaster. 

In the event of a disaster, well-orchestrated cooperation between the boroughs and communications/ citizen relations services will allow both these levels to play their roles harmoniously.

The communications component of the Municipal Emergency Preparedness Plan must provide mechanisms to  facilitate communications with all the City’s employees. For this reason, all departments must have an emergency response plan and back-up resources.

THE AUDIT SYSTEM

The City’s auditor general must obtain the services of the expert(s) required to audit, once every seven years, the state of emergency preparedness in the departments of the City and its boroughs.

APPENDIX A

REFERENCE FRAMEWORK FOR THE CITY’S RELATIONS WITH INDUSTRY AS CONCERNS INTEGRATED RISK MANAGEMENT

Appendix A of the policy describes the Mixed City-Industry Committee (MCIC) model, which proposes an approach based on dialogue among the three parties in the process: the City, industries, and citizens.  To these three parties can be added any other relevant collaborators (bodies belonging to higher levels of government, industrial associations, independent experts, etc.)

An MCIC’s three fields of competence

1.         Prevention, including the mitigation of consequences for: industrial       security, elimination of the causes of disasters, and reduction of the possibleconsequences of a disaster. Its principal tools are the             identification, analysis, and evaluation of risks.

2.         Intervention includes preparedness and, more particularly, joint planning

            for intervention including industries and the City’s departments.

3.         Development and maintenance of communication with the population and      especially vulnerable communities in specific industrial zones, in order to        inform them of the risks they face and of the measures being taken to     mitigate if not eliminate these risks.

Industries targeted

Clusters of industries storing, handling, using, transforming materials in the same zone
The Dorval airport
The Port of Montreal
The train yards
Industries transporting hazardous materials
Construction industry

Leadership

Under the authority of the Chief of the Fire Department, the Emergency Preparedness Centre will assume leadership of the City’s relations with its industrial partners.

APPENDIX B

CONTRIBUTION OF CENTRAL AND BOROUGH DEPARTMENTS TO THE ORGANIZATION OF MONTREAL’S EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

This appendix describes the principal planning and operational missions assigned to the municipal departments.  It is to be considered an integral part of the policy and may be modified as the City’s structures evolve.

APPENDIX C

PROGRESS OF THE FILE ON EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS POLICY

This appendix is included for your information and is not an integral part of the policy.  It allows a glimpse at the draft policy’s one-year progress through consultations with all interested parties within and outside of the City’s administrative structure.

JBG/08-11-02 

4. Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e. homeowner automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehouse the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be           expected to occur?  Yes — No X  Could you elaborate?

4.1     We are still working towards this objective which is one of our priorities for

            the coming months.

4.2      N/A

5.         How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example: education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal governments most immediate priorities?

No answer to this question.

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

No answer to this question.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

No answer to this question.

The following questions have to do with the assistance provided by the federal government.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

No answer to this question.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program} helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

            N/A

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

            N/A

5.7       Are you confident the OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency?  Please explain.

            N/A

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1,600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada.  Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache?  Yes     No  X 

Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches?

Yes  No X  Could you find a cache of these community and report on the usefulness of the contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization?  Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials       included?   How much help is anticipated from these departments?

            N/A

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)?  How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

Support from army (Example: 1998 ice storm).

 

Vancouver
British Columbia

Response to the Senate Questionnaire
On Emergency Preparedness

Emergency Planning Coordinator – City of Vancouver.  Responsible for coordinating emergency management (Planning, mitigation, response and recovery) for the City and for operating the emergency operations centre.

The City of Vancouver proper is 113 square kilometers and has a populat

ion of 545,000 based on 2001 census data. The City of Vancouver is an urban environment.

The City of Vancouver is bordered by three major Port Authorities and also has a major international airport on its southern boundary.

The last major emergency in the City of Vancouver was the Stanley Cup riot in 1994.

Q 2.1  

The primary natural threat to the City of Vancouver is from earthquake, however the City is vulnerable to a wide range of natural and man made threats.

Q 2.2  

The City of Vancouver has a comprehensive emergency management program in place and as such is well prepared to deal with large scale emergencies.  The City of Vancouver trains regularly through its emergency operations centre and participates in local, regional and Provincial emergency preparedness exercises.

Q 2.3  

A major emergency is one that involves a significant amount of emergency response resources and coordination. A large earthquake with significant damage and casualties would be an example.

Q 2.4  

The City of Vancouver is well prepared for any major emergency.  Detailed plans, adequate staff levels and resources are in place.  However this does not preclude the possibility of a disaster of sufficient size that could overwhelm our capabilities. (Such as a catastrophic earthquake.)

Q 2.5  

Resolving the crisis.

Q 2.6  

The response to these types of events cannot wait for Federal or Provincial aid. Response would begin immediately with aid being requested from the senior levels of government if required.

Q 3.1

The City of Vancouver has sufficient financial resources, personnel and equipment to meet the immediate needs of a disaster.  However, if the disaster is large enough in scope the resources available could be inadequate.  We would look to the Provincial and Federal governments for assistance if this were the case.

Q 3.2

The available resources could be depleted very quickly if a catastrophic disaster were to occur. Given the location of assistance at present there will be a delay in the arrival of assistance from the Provincial and Federal levels of government.

Q 3.3

Yes we are satisfied with our local command and communications structure.  Further we have put hardened communications infrastructure into place that allows for survivable fully interoperable communication between the first response services.

Q 3.4

Provisions for interrupting television and radio broadcasts to send emergency information to the public is available.

Q 3.5

Improving links with Provincial and Federal government agencies would strengthen our emergency management program in the City of Vancouver.

Q 4.1

The City of Vancouver has a comprehensive educational program in place to ensure that the public are prepared for an emergency. www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/nepp

Q 4.2

Emergency supplies are being stockpiled at strategic locations in the City for use during an emergency.  The ability of the City to cope will again depend on the scale of the emergency.

Q 5.1

Additional training in CBRN and overall emergency management should be a top priority.

Q 5.2

To date the City of Vancouver has received no dedicated funding from the higher levels of government for training or exercising of the City Emergency Plan.  This has been undertaken entirely at City cost.

Q 5.3

This would depend on the scope of the emergency.

Q 5.4

The City of Vancouver could potentially require Federal assistance in a disaster.  In this case the procedures and protocols are written and empowered through Legislation and Regulation.

Q 5.5

JEPP is an extremely useful tool for emergency preparedness.

Q 5.6

No historical problems to note.

Q 5.7

No information relevant to Vancouver to assess.

Q 5.8

We have seen caches of this nature and do know where they are located in the City.  We sought out the procedures for their use and have contacts within the Health organization to activate them if needed.  We have looked at one such cache in detail along with a Health representative and we concur that the caches need updating and modernizing.

Q 5.9

The organizations listed in this question all work with our Municipal police department and would be asked to assist in an emergency or disaster if needed.

Q 5.10

Our plan does not rely on the Department of National Defence, however we do have copies of the DND response plan in place for catastrophic disaster in our region.  We also maintain a list of contacts within DND if the need arises to seek their assistance with the request being routed through the Province.

 

Calgary
Alberta

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

The City of Calgary Disaster Services
2003 July 10

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       I am the Coordinator of Disaster Services for The City of Calgary. I have held this position since March 1996. My experience includes emergency management planning activities for The City of Calgary for the following major events:

Year 2000 Conversion (Y2K)

World Petroleum Congress Conference - June 2000

G8 Summit – June 2002

In addition to these events, my office is responsible for coordinating emergency response support during large incidents. Over the past seven years, this responsibility has meant the City of Calgary Emergency Operations Centre has been partially or fully activated five times.

1.2       The population of the City of Calgary (2002 Census) is 904,987. The corporate area of the city is 721.73 square kilometers.

The City of Calgary has several industrial areas, an international airport and is a major rail and roadway transportation hub for southern Alberta.

By statutory definition, the City of Calgary has not experienced a disaster since severe floods in the 1930s.

Each year, the city experiences a number of emergencies. Calls to the 911 system topped 250,000 last year. The Calgary Fire Department responded to more than 30,000 calls for assistance. In a given year, the city faces more than a dozen major fires or emergency events requiring coordination of the emergency services and other civic, provincial and non-government organizations.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

The principal natural threat to Calgary is flooding. With two major rivers meeting near the downtown core, the risk of flooding is posed every spring runoff season. The environmental factors related to this risk are monitored closely

The principal man-made threat to Calgary is a hazardous materials release (rail or truck). As the major transportation hub for southern Alberta, large quantities of this material flow through the city daily.

The City of Calgary is prepared. Maintaining our level of preparedness in the face of changing risk profiles and limited funding continue to be a challenge.

A tank car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical would be a major emergency in Calgary due to the potential impact on residential communities.

Any release of biological agent that causes illness to citizens that was identified publicly would be a major emergency. Public and media sensitivity to water quality issues post-Walkerton would require the mobilization and coordination of a number of civic and provincial agencies.

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people would not severely stretch Calgary resources. Flooding that exceeded 1,000 people means that large tracts of the city are likely impacted which, combined with the human impact would constitute a major emergency.

Calgary recently experienced its largest residential fire in history on 2002 May 30. The $60 million fire caused the evacuation of approximately 2,500 people. For our city, a large fire is one that attracts 25% of on-duty fire fighting resources.

As noted, Calgary has experienced a number of major emergencies over the past several years. Additionally, planning for staged events such as the World Petroleum Congress and the G8 Summit means that emergency plans for business units have been regularly visited and improved. Familiarization and training activities have been reinforced by real emergencies.

The City of Calgary has resolved major emergencies with civic resources working with, where required, provincial (hospital/public health resources and officials; environment resources and officials) and non-government organizations (Canadian Red Cross; Salvation Army). The city would expect the resolve major emergencies in our jurisdiction in the future. If the nature of the emergency meant our civic resources could be overwhelmed, we would expect to invoke the necessary provisions of the Disaster Services Act (Ch. D-13 RSA) to access provincial and/or federal assistance.

The City of Calgary currently has been working with provincial and federal officials on CBRN first responder training programs. Additionally, JEPP funding has provided response equipment that is used in our jurisdiction. Having said this, the potential impact of a CBRN incident may overwhelm local resources quickly – particularly if a secondary device is used. Our city may need to call for assistance from senior levels of government.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

The City of Calgary has more than 12,000 civic employees that operate thousands of fire trucks, ambulances, police vehicles, buses, and public works units. The City of Calgary has 2003 Operating budget of more that $1.4 billion.

The City of Calgary’s emergency resources have not been depleted by a major emergency. If regional assistance were required, it would likely come from the City of Edmonton and would be 6-8 hours in assembly, transportation and deployment.

The City of Calgary currently has fire and disaster mutual aid response agreements with neighboring rural municipalities. Policing mutual aid agreements exist between the Calgary Police Service and the RCMP. The City of Calgary also operates the 911 system on a regional basis.

Current service agreements and command/communications structures appear to be working well at the current time.

Yes. The City of Calgary has a number of personnel trained in the use of the Emergency Public Warning System of Emergency Management Alberta.       

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

The City of Calgary Disaster Services has an extensive web site that provides information to the general public on preparedness issues. The web site contains links to external sites such as OCIPEP and the Canadian Red Cross. Public information campaigns are executed periodically to raise public awareness.

No, presuming this question is intended to address citizen support inventories such as blankets, cots, emergency foodstuffs, etc. Warehousing material generates a number of problems for civic government including:

Cost of purchase – In tight budget times the outlay of funds for supply inventories that may not be used for a period of years is difficult to justify.

Cost of storage – Storage space in Calgary is expensive.

Cost of inventory maintenance – Purchase and storage implies a management system to ensure material remains current and serviceable.

Transportation costs – Once activated, material would need to be transported to appropriate destinations.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

Funding of training, equipment and personnel costs for CBRN responders at the local level on a unified basis is very important.

The new risk profile post-September 11 means major centres must create CBRN response capabilities. Unfortunately, no new funding mechanisms have emerged at the local level to meet the new challenges posed by international terrorist events.

Money for equipment purchases without funding for training and personnel costs means municipalities could be put in the position of cannibalizing front-line programs that are already under pressure.

As noted above, increased funding for training and personnel costs would be helpful in managing the CBRN threat. Regarding our emergency plan, no provincial or federal funding for training or exercising has been requested. Training and exercising has been managed with City of Calgary resources. We have used federal funding for national emergency preparedness training at Arnprior and are very satisfied with the level of support received.

As noted, the City of Calgary has resolved all major emergencies in our jurisdiction. We have no expectations of the provincial government. If the event became a disaster and overwhelmed our ability to respond, we would make appropriate requests for assistance of the provincial government. Short of calling on the federal government and the Canadian Forces, however, it is difficult to visualize a situation where the province would be in a position to provide substantive assistance.

The assistance would be about 4-8 hours in arriving and should be paid for under provincial Disaster Recovery Regulation guidelines.

No. Federal assistance would only be requested through provincial authorities in the event that City of Calgary resources were overwhelmed. This expectation is based on current legislative guidelines and does not need to be more formal.

JEPP funding has been very helpful in assisting The City of Calgary; however, it has limitations. Equipment, by itself, does not provide emergency response to citizens. Training and education are important components of emergency preparedness programs.

Yes. The linkage of critical infrastructure with emergency preparedness under one agency is a crucial step.

Yes. OCIPEP is in the midst of tackling the largest component of a national level response – ensuring preparedness and coordination of action of federal departments. Recent communications from OCIPEP indicate this activity is one of the deliverables for the immediate future. For municipalities, a coordinated federal response through OCIPEP would minimize connection and communication points and assist our response in conjunction with federal departments or agencies.

In order:

Yes, I am aware of the program and have seen a cache.

No, I was given no information on the use of the caches.

No, I was not consulted on the usefulness of the caches.

If I have the right one, the cache dates to the civil defense era of the late 50’s/early 60’s. Is material that is more than 45 years old still functional?

In order:

Yes, through the Calgary Police Service

Yes to both Canada Customs & Revenue and Citizenship and Immigration. Assistance would be expected in areas of jurisdiction where these agencies operate. An example that comes to mind is a major aircraft incident with an international carrier.

Yes. None in a major emergency. In a disaster or CBRN incident – specialized equipment and specialists would be helpful.

 

Calgary
Alberta
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

RESPONSE:

3.4 (a) Yes. The Alberta Emergency Public Warning System (EPWS) is maintained by Emergency Mangement Alberta. User training and access codes are also managed by EMA under their mandate as per the Disaster Services Act. (Ch. D13 – RSA 2000)

5.3 (a) Very little. As a large, urban municipality, The City of Calgary has managed with minimal assistance from the province. Our emergency management response is well practiced and we conduct our own training to supplement federal training.

(b) As above. If the impact of the event were so dramatic so as to require provincial or federal responses (e.g. Red River Flood or Ice Storm), we have been advised of potential time frames for response. (hours for the lead elements, 24-48 hours for broad support.) These time frames are reasonable given the impact may involve multiple jurisidictions in our vacinity. We would expect our repayment would be waived under Disaster Financial Assistance programs where federal and provincial jurisdictions would share funding responsibilities.


Edmonton
Alberta

CITY OF EDMONTON RESPONSE

TO STANDING SENATE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE

QUESTIONNAIRE ON COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS
FOR AN EMERGENCY OR DISASTER

(Questionnaire Distributed June 12, 2003)

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

Director, Officer of Emergency Preparedness. 32 Years military experience as an officer, five years experience in emergency management and preparedness, and one year in this position.

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

Edmonton is predominantly urban, with a population of approximately 670,000 and a size of 700 square kilometers.

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

Edmonton is crossed by major road, rail and pipeline routes and has an industrial airport located near the city core.   Edmonton is  the location of the second largest concentration of petro-chemical infrastructure in North America.

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

Edmonton experiences a major event approximately once every 15 years and a minor event approximately every five years.

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

The threats to Edmonton are:

            2.1.1   Dangerous Goods Event including Rail and Road Spills and Industrial Accident
            2.1.2   Tornado
            2.1.3   Airplane Crash
            2.1.4   Interface Wildfires
            2.1.5   Public Order Event (Riot or Disturbance)
            2.1.6   Public Health Event (Pandemic Flu, other epidemic)
            2.1.7   Landslide
            2.1.8   Water Failure/Shortage
            2.1.9   Pipeline Event
            2.1.10 Terrorist Event
            2.1.11 Flash Flood
            2.1.12 High Winds
            2.1.13 Major Highway Accident
            2.1.14 Power/Gas Failure
            2.1.15 River Flooding
            2.1.16 Thunderstorm
            2.1.17 Dam Failure
            2.1.18 Urban Fire
            2.1.19 Winter Storm

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

Edmonton is adequately prepared to respond to an emergency or disaster.

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency?

Major threats are those listed from 2.1.1 to 2.1.8.

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

Edmonton has the resources and training to respond to a major emergency. It is in the process of rewriting its Emergency Response Plan, has an effective emergency preparedness program and adequate first response equipment and resources to deal with most eventualities

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

A successful response would occur when the situation had been resolved to the point event management could be returned to a routine form.

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

Yes, although our Information Technology has some capability for cyber-security, and our first response departments have limited CBRN response capability.

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

The City of Edmonton has a Fire Rescue Service of approximately 800, a Police Service of approximately 1400, and an Emergency Medical Service of approximately 300. They are equipped with a full suite of emergency response vehicles and equipment. The total budget for the Emergency Response Department (Fire Rescue and EMS) and the Police Service is approximately $240 million. All emergency response personnel are full-time.

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

Edmonton is the major community in the region and is unlikely to require significant assistance from neighbouring communities. If required, support would be available within several hours, if not sooner.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

The regional emergency response structure is basically non-existent, with the exception of a steering committee that is attempting to rationalize emergency preparedness within the region. Success has been elusive due to non-funding at the municipal, provincial and federal levels.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Yes.    

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

Yes.

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

Some information is provided on the City of Edmonton Website and brochures are available at City Hall.  A major component of the 2004 Business Plan for the Office of Emergency Preparedness will be to expand contact with the public.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

Supplies are not normally stockpiled; however, commercial sources of  supplies have been identified

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

The most pressing priority is for the Provincial and Federal Governments to provide sustainment funding for CBRN equipment and training at the local and regional level, and for funding to support regional emergency preparedness coordination.

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

No.  Edmonton has received no money recently from the Federal or Provincial Governments for training and exercising. (For more on the Federal Government, see 5.6 below.)

Emergency Management Alberta (EMA)is the provincial agency responsible for emergency preparedness and management. They are a fairly centralized agency, although they have District Officers assigned to geographical areas. Our relationship with EMA is reasonably good, but we are constantly fighting a battle for recognition. EMA has taken the policy decision that all municipalities are equal, thus Edmonton, with a population of almost 700k receives no different treatment than a small hamlet. In fact, EMA favours smaller communities by limiting financial assistance for training to communities with less than 20k persons. This has the result that larger communities tend to "go their own way" when designing emergency programs, especially training, and this has resulted in poor coordination across the province. For example, most industries and the communities around Edmonton use the Incident Command System for incident management, but EMA is still using the Site Management System, mainly because the Federal Government (OCIPEP) teaches this at their training facility in Ottawa and provides the province free courses.

EMA appears to be shifting more of their emphasis to industry from municipalities, largely in keeping with the provincial government's political philosophy. For example, EMA has recently created a Crisis Management office designed to deal with terrorism. In the planning and implementation of this process, Industry was heavily involved while municipalities were marginalized. Critical infrastructure within the City of Edmonton was identified by EMA without any consultation with the City, resulting in some bizarre, and for the City, politically unacceptable results. (West Edmonton Mall, the world's largest mall, with over 200k patrons on Boxing Day, didn't make the list, the Bee Made Honey factory (?) did). Again the result of this is that the City is now preparing its own list of critical infrastructure, essentially un-coordinated with the province.

There is light on the horizon as the "old guard" within EMA is being gradually replaced with a more flexible staff who are prepared to re-examine the status quo. Nevertheless, it is our feelings (and this reflects the feelings of most communities) that EMA must be more forthcoming in consulting and including major municipalities in their planning process.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

Edmonton would expect only limited operational support from the Province. It should arrive quickly and be paid for by the Provincial Government.  The City would expect financial support from the Province, per the provisions of the Disaster Services Act, to pay for the activities the City has had to undertake as a result of the emergency.

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

No.  Although there is a major military base located near Edmonton, the base’s ability to respond and assist in disaster is limited by resources and by Federal Government policy.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

Neither.  JEPP money is too limited to be of use to a city the size of Edmonton.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

No. Since they restructured from EPC, they have become weak and unresponsive in providing leadership in an effective manner.

We don't have a lot to do with OCIPEP, as our conduit for external support is through EMA. We have not applied for any JEPP grants because, frankly, the allocated amounts are too small to be of any use on a routine basis, and we haven't pursued any money for "big" projects (such as Calgary's HUSAR Team) because we don't have any.

We have been involved with OCIPEP regarding CBRN equipment purchasing and training. OCIPEP and Alberta provide approximately $1.8 million for the purchase of CBRN equipment for municipalities. Edmonton administered the purchase on behalf of the province, largely in response to indications that the province would establish CBRN training in Edmonton, creating a provincial centre-of-excellence. While the equipment has been purchased, no funds were provided for training or maintenance, and much of the equipment remains unused as staff lack the necessary training. OCIPEP is supposed to be managing the provision of CBRN training on a national level, but this has been an agonizingly slow process. Following 9/11 I was part of a team convened in BC at the Justice Institute of BC to develop a quick and dirty CBRN training program for first responders. We did that in about a week. OCICPEP is still working on developing a similar package almost two years later. OCIPEP has lost whatever credibility they may have developed after their 9/11 debacle through their slowness to implement CBRN training. Our perspective at the municipal level is that OCIPEP has become a very bureaucratic entity, out of touch with what is going on at the "coal face" - the municipality, where the first responders are found and the emergency battles fought. To make this situation even worse, there are rumours that OCIPEP would like to scrap their regional offices and manage everything from Ottawa. That would be a retrograde step.

How would I remedy this? What we are looking for from both the federal and provincial orders of government are standards and funding. I would like to see Canada-wide standards for emergency preparedness. Coupled with those standards has to be funding. If money is not provided to implement these standards, municipalities will continue to go their own way, spending their money on what they think is the right program, regardless of provincial or federal wishes. At the same time, it would be nice if municipalities were to be consulted when programs and standards are developed. One federal government, thirteen provincial and territorial governments, and representatives from Canada's 20 largest cities would not be an unreasonable group to come to grips with the issues. The United States is way ahead of Canada in this area, and we would do well to look carefully at what they are doing.

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

No.  However, OCIPEP is all we have to do this function, so we will have to rely on them to do their best. Since Y2K  OCIPEP’s focus has shifted to cyber security at the expense of emergency preparedness

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache?

No.

Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches?    

No.

Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches?

No.

Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

No.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization?

No, although CSIS has a link to our Police Service.

Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included?

No.

How much help is anticipated from these departments?

None.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

No. (see answer 5.4)

 

Edmonton
Alberta
(Revised)

Question 3.4  a. Yes. Edmonton has been authorized access to the Alberta Emergency Public Warning System that is operated by the Province of Alberta, Municipal Affairs Department. Specified City officials are given codeword access to the system and can unilaterally generate a warning at any time.

Question 5.3  a. Considering the size and resources available within the City of Edmonton and the support available from our municipal neighbours through mutual aid, it is unlikely that provincial assistance would be requested other than in an extended or extremely severe event. Routinely, the City does not request assistance from the Province. The most likely external support that might be requested is from the Canadian Forces garrison located immediately north of the City. In this case, as the province would be requesting federal support they would be responsible for paying the federal government. If and how these costs would in turn be recovered from the City are not clear as the entire issue of Disaster Financial Assistance in Alberta is poorly defined.

b. Pretty much the same answer as a. above.

Cheers

Bob

R.A. (Bob) Black
Director
Office of Emergency Preparedness
Phone: (780) 496-3988
Pager: (780) 401-0306
email: robert.black@edmonton.ca

 

Ottawa
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

My name is Harold Murphy and I have held the position of Manager of Emergency Measures for the City of Ottawa sine February 1995.  I am responsible for emergency planning, 9-1-1 administration and for the management of an 800 MHZ trunked radio system that the Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services and Public Works for the City use.

The City of Ottawa has a population of approximately 800,000 and is expected to grow to over one million residents over the next few years.  The City is 2,760 square kilometres in size with 230 square kilometres (8.3%) of urban area and 2,530 square kilometres of rural area.

Ottawa has a number of industrial facilities including a major airport and train station that could require mass casualty response in an emergency.

The City has only declared an emergency once, January 1998 for the Ice Storm.  We have, however, activated our Emergency Operations Centre on numerous occasions, i.e. demonstrations.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

Ottawa is exposed to a large number of weather related threats, i.e.. tornado, heavy snowfall, ice storms.  There is also some potential for earthquake in the Ottawa Region.

There is also the potential to have a large HAZMAT incident as the main east to west highway goes through the middle of the City.  In addition, the main access to the City of Gatineau for truck transportation is through the downtown core.  The location of a number of embassies and consulates in Ottawa also increases the risk of terrorism in the City.

In the last couple of years we amalgamated twelve municipalities into one and we were not totally satisfied with our ability to respond to an emergency.  We have established a Five Year Emergency Response Program that is intended to address the issue.  One of the components of this program is a Multi-Agency Training Program. 

All of the examples listed could be a major emergency depending on the circumstances involved.  For example, a train tanker that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical might be handled as a HAZMAT incident by our Fire Department.  However, if the incident was on the Trans Canada Highway and traffic had to be re-routed or if a major evacuation was required, that would escalate the incident to a major emergency.

We have the ability to respond to major emergencies and there are plans, equipment and personnel in place.  We are however, as previously mentioned, in the process of identifying gaps in our ability to respond.

 We would like to be in a position to resolve any crisis that we encounter.  Provincial or Federal help will be many hours/days materializing.

 We currently have a CBRN Team in Ottawa that can respond to incidents in Ottawa as well as to other places in the Province through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Province of Ontario.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies?

3.1       It is difficult to quantify money, people and equipment the City of Ottawa has at its disposal in an emergency.  However, as an example, in the last couple of years we have purchased over a million dollars worth of equipment for our CBRN Team.

3.2       Depending on the emergency it would take a number of days before our resources were depleted.  Assistance from the Province or Federal Government is hours to days away, again depending on the incident.

3.3       Yes, we are satisfied with our communications structure.

3.4       There is no legislation in place that authorizes a local community to interrupt television or radio broadcasts.  Local radio/television can be used to provide updates/warnings strictly on a voluntary basis.

3.5       Yes, I believe more dialogue would be beneficial to all. 

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

We regularly have articles in the local newspapers advising people how to be better prepared and we annually produce an eight to ten page document with advice and links to other agencies involved in emergency preparedness.  We also participate in Emergency Preparedness Week.

Some supplies have been warehoused, i.e. gas masks, detection equipment, but large scale stocking has not taken place.  This will be reviewed as part of our 5 Year Action Plan. 

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1       Perhaps the number one priority should be to clearly define what Provincial and Federal governments can or can’t do in an emergency.  Once this is defined, the local municipality can develop their plan accordingly.

5.2       We have not requested any funding specific to training and exercising the plan.

5.3       Difficult to define how much help we would require in a major disaster.  However, at a minimum we would expect someone from Emergency Management Ontario to arrive in our Emergency Operations Centre in an emergency.  Any cost for assistance could be funded by the Provincial Disaster Relief Fund or other emergency funds.

5.4       If federal support is required, thee is a process in place to obtain it.  The City is required to request any Federal assistance through the Province.

5.5    In the last couple of years the JEPP has been very helpful in our approach to being able to respond to a CBRN incident.

5.6       Local municipalities need more information on what the mandate of OCIPEP is and what level of coordination they can provide.

5.7       I currently don’t have enough information to comment on OCIPEP’s ability to coordinate a national level response.

5.8       We are aware of the caches, have seen one, and are familiar with the process of acquiring them.  We were never consulted on the usefulness of these caches.

5.9       Federal officials are not part of our planning and preparedness group.  Depending on the emergency, significant help might be required from these departments, but we would have to go through the Province to access the assistance.

5.10    We are not linked to DND.  Again, significant help from DND might be required, i.e. Ice Storm, but the Province is our link to this response.


Ottawa
Ontario
(Revised)

Mr. Dawson:

Here are the answers from Harold Murphy, Manager, Emergency Measures Unit:

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

Answer: No community in Canada has this ability.

(b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Answer:  We would count on the cooperation of broadcasters.  We are also working on a more comprehensive Public Notification Plan for the City of Ottawa, which includes a wide variety of mechanisms.

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

Answer:  As the fourth largest city in Canada, we are not as dependent on Provincial assistance as many other municipalities because of the resources available to us.  Normally help is in the form of a liaison officer coming to our Emergency Operations Centre.  The Province pays this person.

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

Answer:  Very difficult to answer this question based on the above.  If we required assistance we would be looking for it within several hours.  As an example, if there were an earthquake in Ottawa, we would be looking for assistance from the Provincial Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Unit.

Regards,

Elizabeth Smalldridge
Emergency Measures Unit
tel: (613) 580-2424 extension 21446
Fax: (613) 230-5808
E-mail: Elizabeth.Smalldridge@Ottawa.ca

 

Winnipeg
Manitoba

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

 1.1 Emergency Preparedness Program

The function of emergency preparedness is maintained within the office of the CFO, both because of its critical importance to the City, and the cross-departmental nature of the work involved. The office is responsible for coordinating and supporting overall emergency preparedness activities including research, training and education, disaster exercises, public information and the response to an emergency event. The type of emergency dealt with by this service is one that is major or unusual in nature, and requires the coordination of more than one department and/or outside service. The Emergency Preparedness Coordinator maintains the readiness and operation of the Emergency Operations Center, a facility that serves as a focal point for the coordination of response activities during an emergency situation.

The City has been involved in major emergency response activities since its inception. Perhaps the keystone event was the 1950 flood in the Red River Valley. The impact of that clearly demonstrated the need for developing appropriate plans to coordinate the emergency responses of civic departments as well as different levels of government external aid and volunteer agencies. Over the years, various committees and other planning bodies have been structured to assist in carrying out such activities.

In 1990 the City hired a full-time Emergency Preparedness Coordinator and Assistant to establish, enhance, and maintain emergency preparedness activities in Winnipeg. The “Emergency Preparedness Program” refers collectively to all public and volunteer bodies and organizations engaged in planning and response of emergency management activities for the City of Winnipeg.

Mission 

The aim of the City of Winnipeg Emergency Preparedness Program is to provide and support effective planning, disaster management, and education services to enable the citizens of Winnipeg to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major disaster. In addition, the Office provides advice to City Council on all aspects of planning for and responding to major emergencies or disasters. 


The activities of the staff in a major emergency involve the activation of the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC). The EOC is located in the lower level of the Council Building and is a dedicated facility which serves as the focal point for the coordination and management of emergency response activities during large scale (disaster) events.

On a day-to-day basis, the Emergency Preparedness Program undertakes emergency response research, planning, and training and education activities. Staff conduct research into, and preparation of, appropriate and necessary plans and procedures for emergency response. This includes risk analysis to identify and analyze the effects of real or possible hazards in the City; working with appropriate departments on risk mitigation programs; developing inventories of resources; identifying resource deficiencies and recommending corrective actions; establishing and maintaining communications and alerting systems; and developing plans and procedures with the aim of enhancing emergency preparedness. Staff are also involved in the development of, or participation in, the establishment and conduct of emergency preparedness training programs, the development of a public education program, and development of an emergency exercise program.

Integral to the Emergency Preparedness Program is the Emergency Control Committee and the Emergency Preparedness and Coordination Committee Emergency Control Committee (ECC)


The Emergency Control Committee is made up of the Mayor, Members of the Executive Policy Committee (7), the Chief Administrative Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, the Chief Emergency Coordinator and/or the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, and one department head chosen from each of the Standing Policy Committee (3 total). They are responsible for the direction and control of all phases of a comprehensive emergency management plan including mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. The Committee advises Council on all matters pertaining to emergencies or disasters; implements Council direction; recommends matters pertaining to emergencies or disasters; recommends emergency legislation to Council; provides direction and guidance to the Emergency Preparedness and Coordination Committee; obtains outside assistance from the Provincial, Federal, private and commercial sources, as required; and prepares release of approved emergency-related information and instruction to the media.

1.2 & 1.3

Characteristics of Requesting Community/Municipality

Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba and is the largest city, comprising approximately 55% of the Province’s population.  It is located at the junction of two major rivers (the Red and Assiniboine) in a natural floodplain. Land use is diverse, ranging from industrial to normal business uses, residential and agricultural, and covers approximately 464 square kilometres. It is at the centre of a cluster of bedroom communities that have limited emergency response capabilities of their own, but it is not located within mutual support range of any other major urban centre. As such, Winnipeg's relative isolation from other major urban areas means that it must be self-sufficient in ways that other major Canadian cities need not be.

Population

2001: Winnipeg – 631,700       Capital Region – 684,800

2002 Projected – Winnipeg – 632,400          Capital Region – 685,900

Economic Base – Industry – Business – Transportation - Recreation

Winnipeg is the economic and governmental centre of Manitoba and is the central transportation hub with one of the few Canadian 24 hour operation airports with direct transpolar routes, and major road and rail connections east, south and west. The economic sector is driven by government, aerospace manufacturing, transportation equipment manufacturing, information and communications technology sectors, health and biotechnology manufacturing and research with a Level 4 Bio-containment lab for animal and human disease study, finance and insurance services operating on the national level, furniture manufacturing, apparel manufacturing, agribusiness, motion picture production, and environmental industries that deal with waste water treatment, bio-remediation of contaminated soil, manure waste management, consulting and testing, hazardous waste handling, and headquarters for a Canadian national media company (CanWest Global).

Because of the varied industrial activities, Winnipeg deals with all categories of hazardous materials either as a result of direct industrial use and production or by their presence while in transit across Canada and into the USA.  At present, hazardous materials are transported throughout the City on a daily basis and are of course, subject to all federal and provincial legislation relating to handling and transportation of hazardous materials.  However, at present there is no ordinance establishing dangerous goods routes within the City of Winnipeg.  In addition Winnipeg would potentially be a natural access and distribution point for illicit bio-hazardous, radiological and nuclear materials, due to the close proximity to the US/Canada border and its terminus as the north end of the Mid-Continent Trade Corridor that extends directly into Mexico.  Winnipeg functions as a major transportation hub for trucking, air and rail transport. Goods from Winnipeg can reach anywhere in the world in 48 hours.  Most major national trucking firms are headquartered here, and both the CN and CP Railway systems maintain their major western marshalling and repair yards here. In addition, the American railway, So Line, directly serves Winnipeg alone amongst Prairie cities, thus Winnipeg is the only Prairie city with inter-modal service to and from the USA.  The Winnipeg Airport Authority is also a major international public and military air transportation centre used by all categories of airlines, serving the regional population.

Winnipeg is home to Canada's NORAD Headquarters and Operations Centre, as well as 1 Canadian Air Division.  In these times of increased international terrorism, those two headquarters provide an increased potential target risk for bio-terrorism and other forms of terrorist attack, therefore increasing the associated risk for Winnipeg and the need for a fully equipped local and regional hazardous materials response capability.

In 2000, Winnipeg's GDP totalled $17.3 billion, which amounted to 66% of Manitoba's economy. Winnipeg’s labour force totals 372,000 people, which is 64% of Manitoba’s labour force.

City operated recreation opportunities include over 7,800 acres of park lands, five municipal golf courses, twelve indoor pools, and eleven outdoor swimming pools.  Over 44 miles of riverbank on Winnipeg’s three major rivers afford public access to one of the City’s greatest natural assets.  The Forks, the Museum of Man and Nature, the Planetarium, the Assiniboine Park and Zoo, and Can West Global Baseball Park, are key tourist locations.  Winnipeg is home to the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Contemporary Dancers, Manitoba Opera Association, Manitoba Theatre Centre, the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

1.4

Service Statistics(Most recent data)

Presentations

50

Emergency Management Training

300

Conference Committee

3 years

EOC Activation

5 times

External Committees/Meetings

7 / 60

Internal Committees/Meetings

5 / 40

Exercises

8

Media Contacts

85

Some emergencies or disasters include:
2002 Derailment
2002 Light Airplane Crash
1997 Flooding
Yearly Severe Storms


2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1

Regional Characteristics

As the centre of Manitoba industry and population, Winnipeg is surrounded by rural municipalities and small clusters of population. By virtue of existing commitments, Winnipeg emergency response personnel do respond to specifically defined incidents outside city limits and as such the decontamination trailer will be available to support those incidents. This is done on a contracted basis in some cases and on a cost recovery basis or fee for service basis in others. Surrounding areas experiencing hazardous materials events, that require transportation of injured people, will need to transport to the major urban health care facilities in Winnipeg. In the case of contaminated people, it is preferable to decontaminate at the scene prior to transporting them to hospital. Winnipeg-based trailer-mounted decontamination services could be required to support that environmentally safe on-scene process. In the case of adjacent industrial facilities that are located just outside Winnipeg boundaries, it is in the best interests of Winnipeg to mitigate potential hazards that could affect Winnipeg's facilities and population, therefore the decontamination trailer would be available to service those sites.

2.2

Training

Both the Incident Command system developed and utilized by Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service and its on-scene Personnel Accountability System, have been adopted by other Manitoba communities and the provincial Office of the Fire Commissioner. This means that Winnipeg emergency personnel can work alongside all surrounding area emergency services personnel in a coordinated and safe environment. Search and rescue in fire and hazardous events is a prime responsibility of crews from Fire Paramedic Service. In addition to normal emergency training, all firefighters and paramedics on staff have Level 1 (Awareness) NFPA 472 qualifications as of April 2002. 210 firefighters are trained to Level 2 Operations NFPA 472 and 78 to Level 3 Technician NFPA 472.  In addition we have one Training Officer Level 4 Instructor and 1 Operational Officer Level 4 Instructor & HazMat Coordinator.  Further related training includes, Water Rescue Level 1 – 517; Level 2 – 238; and Level 3 – 8:  Technical Res. Level 1 – 266; Level 2- 136; Level 3-14: Confined Space / Trench Rescue –169; Advanced Extrication – 369: and Vehicle Extrication – 122.

Type of Training:

MEM (Manitoba Emergency Mgmt) Course – 284 staff

BEP Course – 39 staff

EOC Course – 68 staff

Site Management Course – 53 staff

Emergency Public Information Course – 43 staff

Emergency Health Social Services – 400 staff

2.3 Please see table below

Winnipeg Hazard Analysis  (General Assessment)

 

Event Description

Cause

Risk Potential Rating

Comments

 

Flooding

Natural

High

Two major – The Red and the Assiniboine - and two smaller rivers – the Seine and the La Salle- collect within the City.

 

Blizzards

Natural

High

City often on path of “Colorado Low’s” or “Alberta Clippers”

 

Train Derailment

Human-caused

High

Both Canadian National and Canadian Pacific main rail lines run through the City centre, passing places of large gatherings and residential areas.

 

Hazardous Materials Spill

Human-caused

High

Large trucking industry with storage and load transfer requirements.  Also, lack of dangerous goods routes.

 

Tornado

Natural

Medium to High

Winnipeg is located in the Canadian prairie tornado belt as identified by Environment Canada

 

Severe Spring/Summer weather

Natural

Medium to High

Winnipeg has been impacted by six 100-year storms in the last 9 years.  Often only a degree or two away from an ice storm.

 

Airplane Disaster

Human-caused

Medium

Airport facility neighbors on residential areas on two sides.  It provides international flights to both passengers and commodities and several hundred flights to Northern Manitoba with various hazardous cargo.

 

Gas Explosion

Human-caused/

Natural

Medium

Manitoba soil shifts with frost, which could potential damage, the lines.  Also, Winnipeg has a large consumer base in natural gas use underground.  Just south of Winnipeg is the Trans Canada pipeline for natural gas.  Esso petroleum has its main line passing through the east section of Winnipeg en-route to East St. Paul.

 

Incident at the Canadian Science Centre for Human & Animal Health

Human-caused

Medium/low

Identified as a national target for terrorism.  Bio hazard materials are delivered and stored at the site.  Mechanical malfunction also may cause an accidental contamination release.

2.4

Resources

Fire Paramedic Service: 1110, Front Line Firefighters: 854, Paramedics: 155, Hospital/Health Services: 27,000 at 7 hospitals plus long term care facilities.

Ambulances: A minimum of 11 at all times plus variable peak to 16, and 2 Multiple Incident Response Vehicles (MIRV).

Fire: Pumpers –21, Pumper/Rescue – 5, Rescue – 3, Ladder – 7, Haz-Mat – 2, Water Rescue – 2, Trench Rescue – 1, plus other specialty support vehicles.

Police: The Winnipeg Police Service consists of approximately 1,139 officers and staff working out of: centralized administration offices, a Police Academy, five District Offices, and numerous community-based offices.  Equipment includes 89 patrol cars, 23 – 4 wheel drive vehicles, 101 unmarked patrol cars, 16 community relations vehicles, 12 marked vans, 16 unmarked vans, 12 trucks, 1 mobile crime identification laboratory, nine motorcycles, 1 patrol wagon, 6 boats, 1 support vehicle (converted 17 passenger bus) 1 Command vehicle (converted 17 passenger bus), 4 snowmobiles, 2 all terrain vehicles, 14 trailers, one mobile command vehicle (shared with other City emergency services) one bomb disposal truck and trailer, one underwater search and rescue vehicle, one mobile breathalyzer lab, one truck weight scale,  one tow truck and one pick up truck.

City of Winnipeg health care is administered by the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA).  The WRHA includes the City of Winnipeg as well as the Municipalities of East and West St. Paul, for a total area of 4,077 square kilometers.  Approximately 27,000 staff work in health care in Winnipeg.  WRHA facilities consist of:  four community hospitals, two tertiary hospitals, 3 long-term care health centres, 37 personal care homes, and 16 community health offices.

Plans

City of Winnipeg has up to date:

Emergency Plan

Emergency Information Technology Plan

Emergency Public Information Plan

Evacuation Plan

Emergency Preparedness Coordination Committee Sector Plans

Draft Recovery Plan

 

2.5

Flood of the Century 1997

 

2.6

No, City of Winnipeg, Fire Paramedic Services, Winnipeg Police Services are the “First Responders” who will always answer the call.  Yet over time Provincial and Federal assistance may be required for recovery and investigation.

 
           

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.1

Co-ordination

The City of Winnipeg Emergency Response Organization consists of the Emergency Control Committee and the Emergency Preparedness and Coordination Committee.  These committees provide the direction, control and coordination required to respond to a major emergency situation or disaster.  The responding organization will be comprised of the various municipal departments, outside utilities and volunteer organizations as required by the magnitude of the incident.

Project Co-ordination

For the purpose of this project “ Hazardous Materials Decontamination Trailer” the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service will be responsible for ongoing coordination and maintenance.

3.2

Because Winnipeg is the capital and has a population 630,000 it is very resource full therefore regional assistance may never be asked for.

3.3

Yes

3.4

Yes / No Depending on the magnitude of the event media would most definitely assist, as was the case in 1997 flooding.

3.5

We have a good relationship with our immediate link, being the Province.  We are required to go through the Province of Manitoba to request Federal assistance.  Thus that link is not as strong.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

4.1

Emergency Preparedness Program has been very active in educating the public and private industry.  Emergency Preparedness Program prepare special brochures, mailings, public speaking, trade shows and utilize media opportunities.  Emergency Preparedness Program also prepare conferences, posters, school programs, HELP / OK Emergency Signs etc.

4.2

No, not directly.  Each sector has contingencies for equipment storage and / or procurement. 

Private Sectors i.e. Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Winnipeg Airport Authority, Canadian Pacific Railway, Canadian National Railway, have plans that speak to required resource.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1

Public Education and Public Alert System.

5.2

Training opportunities have been satisfactory, but monies for exercise development and practice would be great.

5.3

Next to none.

5.4

Disaster Financial Assistance is an equitable program and works for the City of Winnipeg and its citizens.

5.5

Joint Emergency Preparedness Program has not been very helpful.  Typically most Public Education programs do not fit the established criteria.

5.6

Not really!  Unsure of when OCIPEP becomes a lead agency and when it just offers support.  The September 11, 2001 event was a typical example of OCIPEP’s lack of direction.  This is still the case today.

5.7

No. August 14, 2003 Eastern US and Canada Electrical Black Out, was an example of just how disorganized they still are.

5.8

Yes, I know of the program, but have not seen the cache.  Yes, I have procedure information.  Unsure if the City of Winnipeg was consulted on the usefulness of the cache.

5.9

The City of Winnipeg has indirect links to these agencies and departments through our Provincial Emergency Measures Organization and through city departmental contacts with similar mandates.

5.10

We are not linked to DND, but DND – Domestic Operations is very involved in local committees and networking opportunities.  Our request for DND would go through Provincial Emergency Measures Organization.

 

Hamilton
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

1.1  William Pasel, Emergency Management Coordinator (full- time) with an additional 1.5 staff members (1 full time, 0.5 clerical).

1.2 As of 2001, the total population of Hamilton was 490,268.  The total land area is 1,117.1 km2.  The population density is approximately 439 people/km2.  Hamilton is a mixed urban and rural community. 

This community includes major industrial facilities, a port, a major airport and transportation hub and yes it would require a mass casualty response in an emergency. 

This community has not experienced an emergency/disaster in a number of years.  However, the emergency management team has convened on numerous occasions to mitigate potential emergencies.  No statistics can be provided at this time. 

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

The main hazards are hazardous material spills, water contamination, rail accidents, tornadoes and wind storms.

We have a comprehensive emergency management program and training program for the emergency control and support group.  That training program includes many of our industrial and community partners.

Yes to points 1-3.  Earthquakes are not a serious threat. 

We are capable of responding and have the personnel to accommodate a long-term emergency.  However, as a community we are always looking to be able to acquire more ‘equipment’ as we believe that it will assist in mitigating some of our risks.

That the emergency management team worked to the best of their abilities with the available resources at their disposal.   

Yes. 

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.1 We have a limited budget to do what is required.  We should have at least 1 more person employed full-time to this department (total of 3) plus one full time clerical support staff.

3.2 No idea.

3.3 We are satisfied with the current structure.

3.4 Yes.

3.5 Yes.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

4.1 We use our community partners and emergency services to help promote public awareness.

4.2 NO.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

Number one is education, two is equipment and three is money for rapid intervention teams. 

No.

No idea what assistance is coming and how long it will take.  The current disaster recovery assistance program spells out how a community is reimbursed but ‘theory’ and ‘practicality’ are two different things.

Yes, especially if it involved either the port or airport, both fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government.  A formal arrangement should be made and understood by all parties.

JEPP grants should focus on ‘mitigation’ projects as opposed to preparedness and response. 

NO…have no idea what they do in a major emergency.  I think they have the opportunity to become a sound educational facility based on best practices.  OCIPEP should become more like Emergency Management Australia.   

Can not answer that question as I do not have enough information to provide an accurate answer.

Q1. No. Q2. No Q3. No.

Q1. No. Q2. No.Q3. No. Q4. None.

No. Limited but they have the potential to really assist during an emergency (ex. Red River Flood of 1997).     


Hamilton
Ontario
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

No our community does not have that ability.  However we have a close working relationship with many of our news agencies that allows for us to interrupt broadcasting to convey emergency information to the public. 

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Please see comments above.  In addition any community would benefit from having the ability to interrupt broadcasts on demand. 

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

Based solely on past experiences our city does not expect much from the province in terms of material or financial resources during an emergency.   

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

Depending on the nature of the emergency would dictate the involvement of the provincial government.  We would expect a response time of no more than four hours to any event that required their assistance.  It should be some type of cost sharing involving all three levels of the government.

********************MEDIUM CITIES********************

Kitchener
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

I have been designated CEMC for the City of Kitchener. I am a career fire fighter of 18 years and have the rank of Acting Platoon Chief. As Acting Platoon Chief I have first hand experience in co-ordinating response crews on scene and applying incident Command and Control.

City of Kitchener is a vibrant and cosmopolitan community and is located in the Region of Waterloo, south western , Ontario.

       Area of Kitchener: 33,358.00 Acres, 52.18 Sq. Miles, Population of 190,399

Community has major industrial facilities and is located near waterloo wellington flight centre. Largest aircraft currently flying out and in the airport would not exceed 100 passengers.

1.4   City of Kitchener experiences many routine emergencies on a daily bases which the emergency services routinely respond too. City of Kitchener has been fortunate not to have experienced disasters over the past many years.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

Natural threats to the community are mainly that of severe weather disturbances. (floods, flash floods, tornadoes, etc) Transportation (Rail, Vehicle transport) of hazardous commodities through the community raises concern, as does the possibility of industrial accidents at manufacturing, processing facilities.

I would describe emergency preparedness as adequate at this time. We are diligently trying to achieve our goals and objectives while maintaining fiscal responsibilities.

Major emergencies would include: train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical, facility hazmat release, a flood that causes the evacuation, large area fire.

Major emergency requires a definition. We have the necessary response capability in place to engage major incidents. Law enforcement, Medical Care, Fire Department response is capable and is supported by Mutual Aid Agreements. A disaster would challenge that same system.

A successful response to a major emergency would involve the approach, securing, identification, assessing of the emergency. Planning and implementing an effective response to mitigate the emergency and to facilitate restoration of the emergency scene.

2.6  As first responders, we are prepared to respond to emergencies of all types to safely take action to protect the community and its residents. The City of Kitchener has a Technician Hazardous Materials Response capability. The mitigation plan may well include the request for Mutual Aid and outside agencies to assist as required.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

To date the assets  have met the requirement of the community. However, we are continually looking to advance our programs and to obtain the necessary equipment to meet projected requirements. For example, CBRN monitoring, anylizing devices, trench and collapse rescue equipment. Strategic planning identifies and prioritises needs of the department and this is balanced against available financial resources.  I would anticipate all emergency response groups have issues with budget restraint and needs.

We would anticipate the response of available Regional Police, Health Care, and the six fire crews (33-38 Firefighters) within four to fourteen minutes. From this point the response agencies would activate Mutual Aid assistance and initiate call-in of off duty personnel. Mutual-aid may take an additional twenty to thirty minutes.

3.3 Incident command and control is used by the fire services on a daily bases. There is and will always be the need to develop interagency co-operation. Unified and centralized structure are not new terms and can be further developed by interagency training.

With the co-operation of CKCO TV and community radio stations, it is possible interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

City of Kitchener requires a listing of relevant Federal and Provincial resources that may be available. Opinion: Training programs delivered at the provincial and federal levels will have the greatest impact if this knowledge and skill is applied at the municipal level by the first responder.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No X Could you elaborate?

4.1       Waterloo region emergency services provide ongoing public education programs. Fire Safety village is a full time educational facility to education the youth of our community. Numerous education program are deliver throughout the community to all age groups.

4.2   We have know warehoused supplies for various emergencies. The City Emergency plan does identify resources and equipment available from various sources.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1       There is no such thing as a federal/provincial rapid intervention. At best, assistance offered Federal/Provincial delayed and is a support role to those Municipal first responders. Federal/Provincial does and can contribute proactively in providing first responders with the necessary knowledge/skill, and equipment to mitigate emergencies quickly and effectively. This action  may very well avoid escalation of an incident to a point that outside assistance is required.

I am unaware of funding provided from higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan? However, I am very much aware of legislation changes to Emergency Management that the communities are mandated to complete.

5.3       With respect to the federal/provincial government: I do not have a high expectation from Emergency Management Ontario on scene representative to accomplish much more than the CCG would be able to accomplish. CANUTEC is a good service to the communities and they are willing and capable of assisting communities in collection of data and contacting appropriate assistance on scene. EMO has a similar communications centre system that I have little experience with. The Provincially funded HUSAR (Toronto) is an initiative that could offer a delayed assistance ounce declaration of an emergency is determined . Realistically, the first modified response of this type would be  several ours at best.

 Our understanding is that there are mechanisms to apply for supplementary funding under conditions of “declared emergencies.”  I am not aware of a federal fund that is dedicated to assisting communities that have experienced a traumatic event. It should be an issue

5.5  The J.E.P.P. application process is cumbersome in light of recent legislative changes.  The governments should examine an allocation to each community for emergency management to be utilized to satisfy local needs in expanding its capacity to manage major emergencies.

5.6    It is difficult to comment as we do not interact on a frequent basis with this group.

5.7  see 5.6

5.8 No

No and not sure unless it is a matter of national security

5.10          No and none


Kitchener
Ontario
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

3.4       (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

Response: NO

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Response: YES

5.3       (a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?

Response:  WE DO NOT

 How long does it take for this help to arrive?

Response: DO NOT KNOW – HOW MUCH TIME IS ACCEPTABLE?

 Who pays for it?

Response: WE DO NOT RELY ON OTHERS TO PAY BUT WOULD SEEK WHATEVER ASSISTANCE BECAME AVAILABLE.

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?

Response:  DEPENDS ON EMERGENCY BUT NOT A LOT OF RELIANCE ON THE PROVINCE.

THE ASSISTANCE PROVIDED FROM THE PROVINCE IS ALL WELL AND NICE, BUT IT IS DELAYED AT BEST AND MAY BE VERY COSMETTIC IN THE BIG PICTURE. THE COMMUNITIES FIRE DEPARTMENT IS A FIRST RESPONSE AND IS ON SCENE WITH SIX MINUTES TOATAL REFLEX. IT IS WITH THIS FIRST, IMMEDIATE RESPONSE THAT THE MAXIMUN NUMBER OF LIVES WILL BE SAVED AND EMERGENCIES WILL BE MITIGATED BEFOR THEY ESCALATE. WE SHOULD LEARN FROM THE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, AND REALIZE WE MUST ENSURE THE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILL IS IN THE HANDS OF THOSE PERSONS THAT CAN BEST DELIVER THE SERVICE.

What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive? 

Response: IF IT WAS OFFERED, 2 HOURS

Who should pay for it?

Response: THE PROVINCE

NOTE: THE CITY OF KITCHENER FIRE DEPARTMENT HAS BEEN DILIGENT IN PROVIDING OUR COMMUNITY WITH THE BEST POSSIBLE ABILITY TO ADDRESS EMERGENCIES OF ALL TYPES OF EMERGENCIES. WE STRONGLY BELIEVE IN THE HELP YOUR NEIGHBOR CONCEPTS AND HAVE A HISTORY OF PROVIDING RESPONSE OUTSIDE OUR COMMUNITY, WHEN REQUESTED.

I HAVE APPRECIATED THE OPORTUNITY OF PROVIDING IMPUT INTO THIS PROJECT AND AM HOPEFULL THAT CHANGE WILL HAVE SOME IMPACT IN THE FUTURE.

 

London
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

Bob Hansen, currently Community Emergency Management Coordinator.

Fire Fighter since 1976;  5 yrs. as a Captain,  3 as London’s Deputy Fire Chief;

EMO Partnerships for Safer Communities Advisory Committee member;

Coordinator of planning, training, and implementation of London Fire Services Hazardous Materials Response Team. (60 Qualified to NFPA Technician Level, 340 qualified to Operations Level)

Liaison with major local industries and hospitals in regards to emergency planning issues, developing industrial emergency plans and coordinating response with municipal agencies.

Developed London’s Hazardous Materials Management Plan.

Multiple certificates in Emergency Planning, Domestic Preparedness for Terrorism,  and EOC Operations from Emergency Management Ontario, Ontario Fire College (Ontario Fire Marshals Office), FEMA (USA) and Canadian Emergency Preparedness College;

Speaker at numerous presentations and seminars regarding Emergency preparedness, industrial hazardous materials management, and Hazardous Materials Response protocols.

NOTE:  As discussed with Grant Dawson.

I welcome this Federal initiative as being both timely, in view of our changing social environment, and worthwhile, due to our increased dependency on infrastructure. My background in emergency operations encompass perceptions and experiences obtained from riding the back of a Fire Truck in direct response, through to emergency program planning at senior Municipal Government, and Provincial levels. I would embrace the opportunity to provide   further input by participating on a Working Committee.

London is approximately 670 sq. km. with a population of approximately 340,000 citizens.

London has a small international airport and a number of major industries, 3M, GM Diesel, Seimens, and Labatts.   Two 400 series hi-ways and both major railways pass through the City.

Our Emergency plan has been activated in the past three decades to deal with tornados, snow storms, a natural gas emergency and power outages. The records are not readily available.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

2.1 Natural; Weather events, Flooding

      Man-made; Transportation accidents, chemical releases (Fixed site and                          Transportation), Energy Emergencies.

2.2 We are solidly at the Essential Level with many components at the Enhanced     Level (EMO standards)

2.3 A major emergency is defined when it overwhelms our response capabilities     and the consequences present unacceptable hardship for our ratepayers. The degree of damage caused by the listed events would most likely trigger activation of our Emergency Control Group. The scope of the event along with our response capabilities would dictate whether or not an Emergency is declared.

(London did not declare an Emergency during the Aug. 03 power outage)

London has emergency plans outlining departmental responses to most emergency situations. Resources have been matched to response protocols. These plans are actively reviewed on an annual basis as per Provincial Legislation (Emergency Management Act).

Acceptable response results in London would be measured by the achieved results in regards to the scope of the event vs. response capabilities.

London has a viable Technical Service Department and a first rate Haz Mat team capable of handling a wide range of chemical, biological and cyber-attacks. We would lean heavily on provincial and federal support to deal with major events involving the above and for most radiological/nuclear releases involving more than minute amounts of radioactive materials.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

3.1 London, with a population of 340,000 has a substantial depth in response capabilities; 12 fire stations with 343 firefighters, approx 600 police officers, approximately500 environmental services staff, an in depth community services department, corporate communications personnel,  plus the equipment and resources from many other departments. There are also active emergency response relationships with the EMS provider, hospitals, health unit, major volunteer organizations and private industry.

3.2 London has the capability to respond and accurately assess, determine and request the resources needed to deal with any emergency. In most cases, dependant upon the geographical scope of the event, we would expect Provincial support to be activated and arrive in the Community within hours and certainly within the first 24 hours.

3.3 London has a workable, yet older communications system. Over the next four years, both Police and Fire radio communications systems, now about 10 years old, will be replaced with state of the art equipment.

Our Unified Command procedures allow for timely and concise communications amongst the Emergency site Responders and with the EOCG. The Communications plan, triggered by the EOC, partners with local media outlets to get situation reports and direction to the public.

We have this ability through the cooperation of the media.

3.5 The links to the Province, through EMO, are well established. Information, communication and facilitation exchange between the community’s emergency planner (CEMC) and EMO area representative is well established.

Federal links are facilitated through the EMO.

There is little direct funding assistance available from the Province to Municipalities. The JEPP program is laudable, however the method of applying for financial assistance could be enhanced in the area of emergency planning initiatives. A JEPP application must be submitted in the fall of year 1. Once submitted, the Municipality must wait until May of year 2 for approval. This method does not support municipal budgetary processes in determining year to year emergency planning activities.

Further funding, necessary to facilitate emergency operations training programs that fall outside of a departments normal core services, is necessary to maintain a level of service delivery consistent with emerging National Standards (Emergency Management Act, NFPA 1600). All municipal departments have been pared back to the minimum levels necessary to provide core services. After 911, emergency planning/response activities have been recognized as being essential, however municipal budgets, historically developed to accommodate core services and pared to the bone over the last decade, do not have the depth to properly address emerging, standards based, emergency planning initiatives. The JEPP program could be reviewed with a view towards enhancement in this area.

OCIPEP has an excellent program in providing Public information literature to municipalities at no charge. Well done!

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

4.1 Our public information program is ongoing. Past public information programs have dealt with providing the public with information to become self sufficient, should critical infrastructure services be interrupted. We are currently developing a ‘general hazard’ preparation campaign for the fall. Future Programs will align with specific hazard preparations and activities.

4.2 This was completed, on a departmental level, in preparation for Y2K. The information, gathered for Y2K, is currently being updated and centralized  in accordance with the mandates outlined in the Emergency Management Act.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

5.1 As described in 3.5, the current application process for obtaining funding for  emergency response initiatives does not fit well  into the municipal planning process. Many emergency planning initiatives have been mandated from the senior Government level, with the financial responsibilities to implement these initiatives resting squarely upon municipal coffers that have been pared to the bone.

5.2 NO!

5.3 If support activities from the Provincial Government are necessary, we would expect this assistance within hours. The amount and nature of this assistance would be dependant upon the nature and severity of the event. Federal Assistance from the Federal Government is accessed through EMO. Due to this extra step, Federal assistance necessary to mitigate the effects of the event may be longer in coming. Initial arrival of assistance from the Federal agencies to deal with the event itself, (e.g. military, CBRN etc.) would be expected within 6-8 hours of our request.

5.4 Should Federal assistance be necessary to deal with issues stemming from a crisis event in Ontario, the request process is formalized through EMO.

5.6 The process of applying for JEPP grants does not fit into the municipal planning and budgetary processes. For example, we cannot schedule a training program to implement equipment obtained through JEPP until we are approved for the grant. This approval is not confirmed until well into the year the equipment will be purchased, creating a Catch 22 situation for planning training programs.

5.7OCIPEP could expend more energy in the area of educating the public about their organizational initiatives and activities. I believe that if one were to canvass people on the street regarding OCIPEP, the vast majority of the people would not know what services this Ministry provides.

5.8 Yes to all. The caches are monitored and maintained through our Health Unit. The Medical Officer of Health is an integral member of our EOC and sits on any relevant emergency planning committees.

5.9 No. Any information or assistance from these agencies will normally be received through EMO or the Province’s Police community.

5.10 DND assistance to London will be initially activated through the EMO.

Grant,

Please pass our appreciation to the Senate Committee for the opportunity to provide input into this survey. If you have any questions or inquiries, do not hesitate to contact me @ 519-661-4468 or rhansen@london.ca.


St. Catharines
Ontario

Community Prepardeness Questionnaire

Steve: The following is a very brief synopsis to the questions that were asked. If I have skipped over a question it is because I wasn’t sure or wasn’t comfortable answering the question.

1.1)     Daryl Whiteley-Assistant Chief of Operations -St.Catharines Fire Services

  -CEMC

  -been with department 24 years mainly in suppression.

  - been Ass’t Chief for 3 years and CEMC for 1 year.

  - have been involved in Emergency Response Planning for past

  - year.

1.2)     St.Catharines covers 99 square kilometers. It covers approximately 18 kilometers in an east west direction along the shores of Lake Ontario and runs from Lake Ontario to the Niagara Escarpment roughly 6-7 kilometers.

Population approxiately 140,000.

1.3)     St.Catharines is mainly an industrial town with 2 General Motors plants several paper mills and 2 auto plant parts makers.

Our community is roughly 9 miles from the United States at the closest points. The Queenston Lewiston Bridge and the Rainbow bridge in Niagara Falls are in close proximity to our community.

Buffalo Interantional Airport is approximately 50 kilometers away and St.Catharines is also on the flight path to Toronto’s Pearson International. (50 kilomerters)

Major transportation corridors- Q.E.W./ 405 and 406 series highways.

Major rail lines.

St.Lawrence Seaway/Welland Canal

1.4)     Most recent emergency- summer of 2003 Blackout.

Major snowstorms

High winds.

Transportation accidents.

(Statistics not available)

2.1)     See above. Also industrial town.

2.2)     Currentely updating emergency response plan to meet the requirments of the Bill 148. The Emergency Management Act.

2.2)     Being on major transportation corridors a major accident is most definitely

possible. Industrial accidents strong possiblity. Being close to border could involve international terrorism.

Emergency response plan is currently being updated

Full time fire department (160 firefighters)

Regional Police and EMS.

Currently developing a Regional Hazmat/CBRN team to respond to any incident beyond the scope that the local jurisdiction can handle.

Niagara Region encompasses 12 municipalities. Regional has a E.R.P.

Each of the 12 municipalities has a mutual aid plan.

2.5)     Municipality is a two tiered system. If local municipalites cannot mitigate the situation then mutual aid and the regional teams would be activated. If the incident goes beyond this then the province would be notified to activate their team.

2.6)     Regional Team would first be deployed and backed up by Provincial team.

3.1)     See above answers. Financial resources not available

3.2)     Regional assistance should be available within an hour.

3.3)     Command and communications are currently in place but are being updated with implementation of Regional with ongoing training.

3.4)     _________

3.5)

4.1)     Will be publishing emergency info on city’s website. Public awareness is part of the Essential level for the Emergency Management Act.

4.2)

5.1)     Funding for equipment and personnel should be the governments priorities.

5.2)

5.3)     Help is available from the province. Assistance could be 4 hours away. Province would pay for it.

Questions 5.4-5.9.

Not able to respond.

 

Victoria
British Columbia

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

I am a former Naval Officer, who was attached to Armed Forces Marine Rescue in C.F.B. Comox, where I commanded a minor Naval Vessel involved in search & rescue duties on the west coast.  I am also an instructor with the Justice Institute of B.C., Emergency Management Division.  As a private pilot, I fly with CASARA Rescue.  My position with the City of Victoria is as the Emergency Coordinator

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

The community is 150 years old, mostly urban, with some small rural patches.  The core population is approximately 150,000 in an area of approximately 35 sq. km.  Greater Victoria serves a population of approximately 350,000.

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency.

Victoria is a seaport community, with U.S.A. border accesses leading by ferry and float plane to Port Angeles, Friday Harbour, and Seattle Washington. Shipbuilding, and ship repair is the largest commercial activity within the City’s borders.

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

Rarely anything of significance.  Major impacts have been weather related, such as the Blizzard of 1996 which shut down the City for 3 + days due to record snowfalls over a three day period.  Although a state of local emergency was not declared, (it was a borderline case) military reservists were deployed to assist with the transport of many medical cases to hospitals, as regular emergency vehicles found roads impassable.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

Weather extremes affecting a normally moderate climate hold the highest risk. There is a potential for devastating fire, as the City has very old heritage type buildings relatively close together. This City is also in an earthquake zone, and has experienced several seismic movements. The most significant of which was in February of 2001.  A tsunami is a potential threat, although considered as low risk.  Victoria is also home to the Pacific Naval fleet, and does occasionally host visiting nuclear powered  warships from other nations.  A marine fuel spill presents some risk, and has occurred on a few occasions.  The City’s harbour has also been declared an airport, with very many float plane landings and takeoffs daily.  Conflicts with surface marine traffic, presents some risk elements.

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

Improving over time as training and awareness increases.  The City has adopted the BCERMS model of Incident Command, and is training staff and volunteers to this widely accepted standard.  The City’s emergency plan is updated and exercised annually.  Inter agency emergency exercises are conducted more frequently than they have been in the past.  There is heightened inter-municipal co-operation aimed at emergency responses.

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

2.3.1How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

Rail traffic into the City is very limited.  Marine shipping and highway truck transport does bring hazardous materials into the City.  The other three examples listed are applicable, with the latter being the highest risks identified in our risk analysis.  Fires amongst old, closely placed buildings are a real concern.  Being in an active earthquake zone is also an elevated concern.  The City’s Fire Department is small, with 24 members present during regular shifts, serving the needs of 130,000.

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

The City ranges from being moderately, to well prepared to meet most emergencies, and is improving annually.  Response plans are in place and are being exercised and refined.  Increasing numbers of personnel are being trained in emergency preparedness; volunteers are being recruited and trained in emergency preparedness.  Equipment is lacking in some areas, but is being worked on to improve in numbers and types as funding permits.  Shared resources are being identified, and mutual aid agreements are being developed and implemented.

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

A successful response would consist of containing the crisis, managing it with minimal loss of life and property damage, and seeing a speedy recovery process and quick resumption of business.  Provincial and Federal help is known to be slow in coming, as has been experienced in the past.  This is particularly noted of late due to the removal of the local army units (P.P.C.L.I.) to Northwestern Alberta, and reductions in the size of manpower of what is left in C.F.B. Esquimalt.  Recent changes in protocols to dispatch the Naval Dive& Bomb Disposal Unit, the D.N.D. fireboat, and the D.N.D. HazMat team will also contribute to increases affecting a timely response.  On the other hand, the offer of personnel from H.R.D.C. to assist in emergencies, is looked upon favourably.

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

Yes.  A fully equipped and trained Civic team is not in place to deal with such issues.  Costs of equipping and training a suitable Team remains a significant challenge, but is being planned for none the less.  Funding will be the biggest issue. 

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

Money for emergency response(s) comes as a low priority in a field of intense competition for limited operating budget funds. Ageing infrastructure and economic development programs seem to take precedence.  Outside of professionals (f.t.e. police, fire, ambulance) emergency response personnel are recruited on a volunteer basis.  This is limited due to time commitments, transience, and an ageing population.  Equipment is very basic and generic; some of it quite old.  The City would be hard pressed to manage a prolonged emergency situation with its own personnel and resources.

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

The City could be overwhelmed immediately if an earthquake were to strike with severity, and cause a lot of fires.  Ageing infrastructure in the way of utility services (underground services of water, sewers, storm drains, communications cabling, and natural gas pipelines,) would be seriously affected.  Roadways and bridges would also be severely impacted due to underlying geology.  Being as we are on an island, regional assistance arrivals would depend largely on the damage / operational status of 3 ferry terminals and local airport conditions.

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

If anything, this is one of the strengths of the Emergency Plan.  Commercial radio is backed up by an active Ham Radio network..  The whole Capital Region is in the final stages of activating an $18 M integrated communications system for police fire and ambulance.  Centralized and consolidated dispatch is being considered as an addition to this system.  Existing municipal E.O.C.’s exercise annually.

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

Again, this is one of the strengths of the current emergency plan.  We have in place a mutual aid agreement with all local radio stations and television stations for emergency broadcasts and dissemination of information and instructions in the event of an emergency.  This will be done without fear of upstaging each other or obtaining “exclusives”.  It has been agreed that all information will be shared with each other, and disseminated in the same text or context, so that the message is consistent.

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

We enjoy a good working relationship with the Provincial Emergency Program and with the Federal Office of Critical Infrastructure, Protection and Emergency Preparedness.  However, there is always room for improvements, and they are to be encouraged.  There are some disappointments however.  Transport Canada, for example, after protracted negotiations, has adamantly refused to contribute to the funding of what we feel is adequate fire protection of the Victoria Harbour Airport.  Victoria has very limited waterborne firefighting capacity.  It does not have a fireboat, and relies on borrowed or contracted un-manned watercraft to provide this service.  Given that it takes only 90 seconds for a fuel fed fire to burn through the skin of an aircraft, the survivability of a downed aircraft’s occupants in a potential harbour crash is minimal.  The flight path for landing aircraft is over the civic core.  This same agency on the other hand is insisting and is extracting “market value” rents on waterfront property leased by the City.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

The Victoria Emergency Program offers workshops and seminars to businesses and residents alike.  It offers emergency awareness and education seminars, and provides basic training in firefighting, light urban search and rescuce and first aid.

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

A 5 year capital program has been initiated to provide basic emergency supplies to all civic owned buildings and staff for a period of 72 hours.  We have also established emergency containers for reception centre setups in 8 of 13 neighbourhoods.  Beyond that, there has been no warehousing of materials or supplies, as there are very limited places to store them in quantities deemed necessary for a City of this size.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

In our case, concentrations should be in the form of provisions of temporary shelters, feeding, and medical attention of up to 150,00 people.  A fully trained and equipped CBRN and HazMat team is also of importance.  This would be closely followed by provision of equipment to deal with specific weather related perils and generic emergency survival educational requirements.

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

The JEPP Grant program is to be applauded and continued.  However, items qualifying for grant approvals should be re-visited, and expanded.  Cost sharing of major capital items is to be encouraged, but to date has had limited successes for this City due to tightness of budgets and being required to come up with total funding “up front”.  This discourages some Civic politicians from supporting and participating in the process.  They don’t see the partners as committed to the application, rightly or wrongly.

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

Assistance from the provincial government, through the Provincial Emergency Program can be immediate. Provincial Government offices occupy several buildings in the downtown core. Certain crisis situations are 100% funded under established provincial guidelines, but managed by Civic jurisdictions.  Such applications experienced so far have worked well to date.  A major emergency may quickly deplete provincial resource deployments however, giving protracted delays in effecting responses.

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

As described earlier, Victoria is home to the Pacific Fleet.  Should there be a nuclear release in the harbour, or an accidental munitions explosion, or a major fuel spill from the fuelling facility, it could have long term effects on the community that we are unprepared to deal with. A recent shipboard fire in the federal graving dock has been tied up in the legal system for five years.   To date, federal involvement has been minimal in emergency events, and after the fact settlements have been usually tied up with lengthy political and bureaucratic wrangling over responsibilities.  Anything to enhance and speed up settlement(s) in a positive, constructive manner would be of benefit to both jurisdictions.

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

Again, continuance of this program is to be strongly encouraged, and if possible expanded to include additional items receiving consideration for funding.  We have successfully received funding for emergency equipment, but have sufficient numbers of equipment that currently meets approval guidelines.  We need other types of equipment that is not JEPP Grant applicable.

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

We have participated in OCIPEP exercises in a minor capacity (exercise Cascadia Response) with the local office.  Future exercises should include and address local issues, which for us are equally as important as national ones, and more likely to occur.  Response is all about working relationships with the people involved in leadership capacities.

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

We certainly hope so.  Although we have a good relationship with the local office, it has been very limited in scope  and  we don’t always get exposed to the “big picture”.  Provided civic leadership is included in the decision making processes early, there should be no problems.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

We host a very old, 200 person crated up field hospital unit.  It has not moved in years, and its condition is unknown, other than antiquated.

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

We have not had any experience with CSIS.  CCRC plays a role in our written emergency plan and are being included in recent CBRN planning sessions..  Other than the provision of trained personnel to be deployed into specific roles, not much help is expected from them.

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

Yes.  D.N.D. could end up playing a major role in a significant event occurring in Victoria.  The local army militia was a significant contributor in the Blizzard of ’96.  The D.N.D. HazMat team was recently deployed to a major hospital chemical spill event, a few months ago.

 

Halifax
Nova Scotia

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

My Name is Peter Bigelow with the Halifax Regional Municipality. I am the Manager of Real Property Planning and also the Deputy Co-coordinator of Emergency Measures. I have worked in emergency preparedness since 1997. I have been involved with co-ordinating several major response situations including Swiss Air Crash 111, Kingswood Forest Fire, CN Propane Tanker Derailment in Dartmouth, September 11 Divertment of Flights to Halifax, Eastern Passage Forest Fire, Hurricane Juan as well as a number of smaller emergencies, which required interagency co-ordination. I have been fortunate to be trained at the Emergency Preparedness College in Ottawa, as well as taking Nuclear Emergency Response through DND and various other municipal and provincial training sessions and exercises.

The Halifax Regional Municipality was created in 1996 through the amalgamation of the City of Halifax, city of Dartmouth, Town of Bedford and County of Halifax. It is approximately the size of Prince Edward Island and made up of hundreds of distinct rural, suburban and urban communities. The population is 360,000 persons (2001 census) but has enjoyed approximately 5% growth since that time

As a strategic Eastern North American Port on the great Circle Route and the home of Canada’s East Coast Navy the city is visited by international shipping and foreign naval vessels. The combination of deepwater port and direct rail, truck and plane routes makes HRM a gateway to Western Canada, the Atlantic Seaboard and Midwest United States. Halifax International Airport handles over 77,000 plane movements and almost 3 million passengers annually. Over 700 planes fly over HRM making landfall daily. During the 2003 season 104 cruise ships will visit HRM.

HRM is the centre for provincial and regional federal services in Nova Scotia and Atlantic Canada. It’s growing offshore petrochemical and support industries, rating as one of the ten top places to do business in North America and unique and attractive lifestyle further position HRM in North America.

It is well known that the municipality is versed in dealing with crisis and emergencies. As a primary centre for the re-supply of Europe during two world wars, the communities around Halifax Harbour played vital roles in supporting the war efforts and unfortunately came to know the risks through the Halifax Explosion of 1917 and the Magazine Hill Munitions explosion of 1945. More recently HRM has provided emergency response to the following Major Multi Agency Response events.

Liquid Butane Train Derailment  - Dartmouth - June 1997

Swissair Flight 111 - Peggy’s Cove- Sept 1998

Gasoline Tanker Truck Spill - Spryfield - Oct 1998

Kingswood Forest Fire - Hammonds Plains - June 2000

9/11 Operation Sleep Over - Halifax International Airport - Sept 2001

Propane Train Derailment - Dartmouth - Feb. 2002

Eastern Passage Forest Fire - Eastern Passage - May 2003

Grain Elevator Explosion - Halifax - August 2003

Hurricane Juan - Sept 2003

A number of smaller events (i.e. apartment building fires, smaller evacuations) occur annually which EMO assists with in terms of interagency co-ordination often helping to marry human services agencies with emergency response. This instances might occur 3-4 times per year.

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

As mentioned previously HRM does have some major hazard exposures. Its location on major shipping and flight paths means that it is one of the nearest land bases for vessels and flights in distress. An oil refinery, home of the East Coast Navy, DND operations for Atlantic Canada and being a being a major NATO and container port contribute to risk. Natural disasters are relatively common and include, localized flooding, hurricanes, winter and ice storms.

Fortunately HRM stands well prepared for emergency response. An all hazards approach has allowed HRM to successfully deal with and mitigate the major emergencies listed above. HRM regularly exercises its emergency and service departments as well as conducting joint exercises with federal, provincial agencies and departments.

HRM would qualify the following as Major emergency

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 1, 000 people and up

A fire which caused the sustained need to evacuate 500 persons. HRM has no experience with Earthquakes.

HRM has an all hazard emergency preparedness plan as well as an evacuation plan. Exercises are carried out often involving a number of agencies. HRM has to acknowledge that because of the strong presence of provincial and federal agencies located within the municipality it is not difficult to get other agencies and NGO’s to participate in exercises and real emergencies. This may not be the case in other parts of the province and country.

While we know from experience that every situation is different, HRM generally measures its success in terms of avoidance of events, successful mitigation of an emergency situation (protection of people and property) during an event, reduction of the potential impact of an event and recovery after the event. In situations where the jurisdiction lies with the province or federal government, our measure of success measures lie in how well we assist the lead agencies to meet these goals.

Yes, HRM would rely on significant contributions from the Province and federal government in CBRN situations. More so than in other situations. However, we are designed for joint operations with other levels of governments, agencies and NGO’s. The level of participation/dependence upon other agencies is determined by the nature of the event.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

3.4       Can your community interrupt local and national television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

HRM is prepared as it can be in light of the host of other challenges that face a municipality. There is redundancy in our systems to allow us to ramp up to proper levels and to sustain ourselves for more extended periods of time. This has been proven through experience.  However there are limits and there are situations which would require extensive outside assistance. Our nature is to help other people and we expect the same in times when we have need of assistance. Our job is to recognize these limitations and make the request before a situation becomes critical. In these events we would be looking to have additional assistance in place within 24 to 48 hours, again depending upon the emergency.

HRM’s system of Joint Operations may be unique in the country. It provides a unified Joint Emergency Operations Centre to manage a host of different situations. Federal, provincial and municipal operations centres are housed under one roof where staff can liase, meet, problem solve and communicate with relative speed and ease. This system has proven itself since it opened in September of 2001. On site HRM relies on an Emergency Site Management system which co-ordinates responding directly to the emergency and is in constant contact with the Joint Emergency Operations Centre for support. This relationship extends into daily operations as regular offices are also on the same floor. This creates a close relationship. HRM has two police forces for police protection. The Halifax Regional Police in the urban and suburban areas and the RCMP in the rural and some suburban areas. Command and administration for both forces are co-located for better co-operation and resource/information sharing on a daily basis.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

HRM can be doing better in terms of personal emergency preparedness. It is an area that requires a sustained effort in terms of resources and personnel that we currently do not have.

In terms of warehoused supplies we are aware of field hospital and medical supply stocks which can be readily accessed. The necessary relationships and contacts exist to access these stocks. In terms of other supplies HRM is reliant upon local suppliers rather than warehousing. Warehoused stocks can become dated and of little use if not turned over.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

5.3       In a major emergency, how much help will your community expect from the provincial government? How long would it take for this assistance to arrive and who would pay for it?

With respect to the federal government:

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       s the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

Extensive testimony was given to the Senate Committee on National Security and Defence on September 23, 2003 morning session in Halifax. Please see those minutes as they convey a great deal of detail that will relate to question #5.


Halifax
Nova Scotia
(Revised)

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster—Revised Questions

(a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?

(a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

PLEASE INDICATE RESPONSES HERE

No the Halifax Regional Municipality does not have the ability to unilaterally interrupt broadcasts to advise the general public of an emergency situation. We rely on issuance of general press releases and notifications to local broadcasters. This system does rely on the cooperation of broadcasters. We believe that HRM and Nova Scotia would benefit from an emergency broadcast system. HRM does participate in a public information FM broadcast station with a local range.

As the major urban centre for the province and the seat of the provincial government, HRM has access to a great deal of provincial assistance. The Joint Emergency Operations Centre which is the permanent home to HRM Emergency Measures, Nova Scotia Emergency Measures and OCPEP offices means that in any emergency municipal, federal and provincial emergency management operations is on the same floor in the same buildings. This aids greatly in overall response to municipal needs. To this date the Province of Nova Scotia has been very good about working with HRM to pay for emergency services. HRM has a good deal of resources at its disposal. Relationships with the Province, military and a host of other agencies help fill the gaps. Co-location of emergency operations during an event means that decisions on resources can be made face to face and quickly. HRM has come to expect and rely on this level of co-operation and co-ordination from the Province to be successful in emergency response situations.

 

Windsor
Ontario

Questionnaire on Community
Preparedness for an Emergency or Disaster

There are five questions in this questionnaire. The questions are underlined. The numbered statements do not have to be dealt with directly, but they should help structure your responses. Please skip-over any statement that does not apply.

1) Could you describe yourself and your community?

1.1       Who are you, and what work experience do you have that relates to emergency response co-ordination?

1.2       How densely populated is your community (in square kilometres) and what are its dimensions? Is your community rural, urban, or mixed?

1.3       Is your community near or does it include a major industrial facility, border crossing, port / airport, or transportation hub that could require a mass casualty response in an emergency?

1.4       How often does your community experience an emergency or disaster? Can you provide some statistics?

I am the community’s Fire Chief, County Fire Coordinator and the Community Emergency Management Coordinator (CEMC).  I have 36 years experience in public safety; 14 years as a firefighter, 8 years as a fire services advisor with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal, 5 years as Deputy Fire Chief for the City of Nepean and 9 years as Fire Chief for the City of Windsor.  I have been appointed by the Fire Marshal of Ontario as the Fire Coordinator for Essex County and as such I am responsible for the maintenance and implementation of the County Emergency Mutual Aid Plan and Program.  I have been certified by Emergency Management Ontario as a Community Emergency Management Coordinator.

Windsor, Ontario borders Detroit, Michigan and is a highly industrialized centre, 145.7 sq. km. with a population of 207,000 people. 

Yes.  This urban centre operates an airport, has a fairly active port due to the location of the Detroit River, has a bridge and tunnel for access to and from the U.S. and is Canada’s busiest crossing point.  On average 16,000 trucks a day pass through the city, to and from the United States.  Windsor has a salt mine, underground liquefied petroleum storage and is the home of Daimler Chrysler Canada Headquarters, 3 Daimler Chrysler Assembly plants, 4 Ford Motor Company of Canada assembly plants and 1 General Motors transmission plant.  There is a large sector of tool and die and injection mould facilities servicing the automotive sector.  The city has a university and a community college and has partnered with industry to have an engineering school of excellence.  Recently a satellite medical school has been established to help foster and attract physicians to this under-serviced area.

The municipality has experienced one declared emergency in the last five years during the 2003 major power outage, however, we have deployed and operated out of the Emergency Operations Centre for large scale events as follows:

          2002 – Ice storm – 5 day duration

          2001 – September 11th – 7 days in duration due to US border crossing

          2000 – Organization of American States symposium in Windsor

          2000 – Y2K events

          1999 – Major accident on Highway 401 involved 85 vehicles and 4 deaths

2) What is your community’s risk assessment and response capability?

2.1       What are the main natural and man-made threats to your community?

2.2       What is your organization’s assessment of local emergency preparedness and training at the present time?

2.3       For your community, what is a major emergency? Would any of these examples qualify?

A train tanker-car that bursts and spills a hazardous chemical?

The release into the local water supply or airspace of enough infectious biological agent to cause illness to 25 people a day for 7 days? How about 100 people a day for 7 days?

A flood that causes the evacuation of 100 people? How about 1, 000? How about 10, 000?

How large a fire and how severe an earthquake?

2.4       How prepared is your community to respond to a major emergency? Does it have the necessary plans, personnel and equipment ready?

2.5       For your community, what would be a successful response to a major emergency – resolving the crisis? Containing the crisis? Hanging on until provincial or federal help arrives?

2.6       Will your community rely on the provincial and / or federal governments to handle a cyber-attack or a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear disaster?

We are in the process of completing our community risk assessment, however, the main areas of concern with a high probability and significant impact involve the following:

Weather – including tornados, major thunderstorms and ice storms.

Nuclear release due to close proximity to Fermi II in Michigan (nuclear power reactor).

Major power outage.

Chemical emergency by transportation, at a fixed site or by marine transportation.

Major transportation accident due to high volume of cross border traffic, congestion and high volume of trucks.

Our local emergency preparedness I would rate at good.  Under the guidelines issued by Emergency Management Ontario our community has most of the essential components in place and/or documented as well as a good number of the enhanced components in our preparedness plan.

We have a Community Emergency Coordinator.

We have an emergency plan and by-law passed by Council.  Both the plan and by-law have been revised and will be presented to the new council in January 2004.

We have an equipped emergency operations centre with dedicated phone and computer lines, emergency power, audio visual aids, satellite phone and satellite TV as a back up.

We conduct annual exercises and have had to activate all or portions of our plan each year for the last 4 years.

We have a 24-hour fan out notification system through our fire dispatch centre.

We have established citizen inquiry lines and procedures.

We have information coordinators for public information and awareness.

We have a public information program and training to name a few.

A major emergency is anything that taxes all of the day-to-day resources of a community, requiring that community to acquire assistance from neighbours and senior levels of government.  In addition, that situation has a potential for injury, loss of life and significant property loss.

Refer to 2.2 – We have the plan and the training in place.

The first priority is to lessen the impact of life safety, the second priority is to contain the incident and aim at mitigation and the third priority is property conservation.  Fortunately we have the support of the Provincial Government, however, we lack any assistance from our Federal Government.  It doesn’t exist.

Windsor has a dedicated Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Response Team in the fire department, designated by the Province.  We can deploy locally or elsewhere in the province or Michigan.  We do need assistance from other levels of government but again there is not much available from the Federal Government.  Very much different than the United States.

3) Are your assets sufficient to meet the threats you have?

3.1       What do you have in terms of money, people and equipment? Do you have back-up equipment and personnel?

3.2       How rapidly would your community’s emergency resources be depleted if one of the major emergencies anticipated in your operational plan took place? How long would it take for regional assistance to arrive, if available?

3.3       Is your community satisfied with its local and regional command and communications structure? Does it require a more unified and centralized structure, and if so, why is this not in place?

            (a) Does your community have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command (i.e., interrupting programming for urgent special announcements) local television and radio broadcasts in order to transmit emergency-related updates or instructions?  If yes, please indicate if the authority to interrupt is officially granted to your community and through which mechanism  (e.g., provincial legislation).

            (b) If your community does not have the unilateral ability to interrupt on command, please indicate how you plan to inform the population in the event of an emergency. Are you counting on the cooperation of broadcasters to do so? Would your community benefit from officially having the authority to interrupt broadcasts on command to transmit emergency-releted updates or instructions?

3.5       Would your community like tighter links with the relevant provincial and federal government agencies? 

All departments in the city budget for normal day-to-day operations.  Public safety agencies do try to budget some contingencies for they can predict from past experience that extra ordinary circumstances will develop from time to time and those resources will be needed.  We do have an emergency planning budget but not enough to handle a major emergency.  We have a by-law allowing for expenditures during an emergency without Council approval.  The fire services maintain a secure cash float of petty cash to help for extra supplies at the outset of an emergency for those items that are required quickly and cash may be needed to make the purchase.  Public safety, including fire has automatic call back procedures for additional staff and we have built redundancies into our systems, equipment and human resources for extra ordinary events.

Depending on emergency, resources could get depleted within the first hour.  Additional resources from other communities could be minutes to hours away depending on the situation at the time for our mutual aid partners.  For example, if a tornado were to touch down and the impact area included our surrounding communities, then help will have to come from a further distance which will take more time.  We are vulnerable to the extent that our closest neighbour having the most resources is in another country, making an international agreement a priority.

We hold training sessions with allied agencies during the year including Ambulance and Police.  Our emergency plan incorporates a unified command structure for all agencies.  It is a training issue.  Unified command training requires much cooperation and team building on a day-to-day basis.  We have made great progress removing the barriers for communications.  City Police is the 9-1-1 server for the City while the County use OPP for County 9-1-1.  Windsor Fire has a separate dispatch centre, however, we dispatch for 5 of the 8 fire departments in the City and County.  Police dispatching is separate in the County and Ambulance dispatch is still operated by the Province.  The ambulances are on a provincial 400 MHz system, all city departments use an 800 MHz simulcast radio system and the County is fragmented on a 150 MHz system.  The greatest impediment is the small rural municipalities wanting to do their own thing.  Political barriers have been prevalent rather than administrative barriers.  Most fire chiefs would prefer a single system, however, the Police like to go their own way.  Ambulance should and could be integrated with fire dispatch; however, Provincial Ministry of Health has decided to retain ownership and dictate policy in regards to their priorities.

(a) No.  We do get the cooperation from the media to assist us, however, we are not able to have direct access.

(b) Yes, we do depend on and do get the support of local media.  The County has a reverse 9-1-1 system for phone fan out and the city is looking at a parallel system.  Yes, we could benefit from having authority to interrupt broadcasting.

We have sufficient regulations from senior governments but not enough advice, assistance and funding.

4) Do you have programs in place to help prepare your community for the anticipated threats?

4.1       What advice have you provided to the public (i.e., homeowners, automobile operators and businesses) to help them prepare for an emergency?

4.2       Have you identified and warehoused the supplies needed to handle the various emergencies and disasters that could reasonably be expected to occur? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you elaborate?

                            -     Radio messages

TV ads

Newspaper ads

Special publications for homeowners

Pamphlets

Mall displays

Citizen surveys

On hold services – tips for preparedness on phone while on hold.

Yes/No.  We have some stock, however, we know through our prepared partnerships where to acquire the supplies for most prevalent emergencies.  The business community is extremely responsive, generous and helpful.

5) How much provincial and federal assistance do you expect in an emergency?

5.1       Which community emergency response improvements (for example, education, equipment, or money for rapid intervention teams) should be the provincial and federal government’s most immediate priorities?

5.2       Is your community satisfied with the funding it has received from the higher levels of government for training and exercising its emergency plan?

(a) Based on past experience, how much help has your community come to expect from the provincial government during a major emergency?  How long does it take for this help to arrive?  Who pays for it?

(b) In the event of a future major emergency, how much help would your community need from the provincial government?  What would be a reasonable time limit for this help to arrive?  Who should pay for it?

5.4       Will your community have to rely on federal support if a major emergency happens? Is this expectation based on an unwritten understanding and should this arrangement be formalized?

5.5       Is the main funding request process (the Joint Emergency Preparedness Program) helpful, or is it impeding your community’s efforts to improve emergency preparedness?

5.6       Are you satisfied with the national leadership and co-ordination provided by the Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness (OCIPEP)? Can you elaborate?

5.7       Are you confident that OCIPEP will be able to co-ordinate the national-level response to a major disaster or emergency? Please explain.

5.8       Health Canada informed the Committee that there are about 1, 600 emergency caches strategically located across Canada. Do you know of this program and have you seen a cache? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you given procedure information regarding the use of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Were you consulted on the usefulness of these caches? Yes ٱ No ٱ Could you find a cache in your community and report on the usefulness of its contents?

5.9       Is the local Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent included in your emergency planning and preparedness organization? Are Canada Customs and Revenue Agency and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials included? How much help is anticipated from these departments?

5.10    Is your emergency plan linked with the Department of National Defence (DND)? How much help is expected from DND in a major emergency?

  · The Province should continue to fund the CBRN response teams ie. Ottawa, Toronto, and Windsor.  Likewise, urban search and rescue from Toronto team should be maintained and continued.

  ·  More funds for training and exercises are needed.

  ·  More research and development dollars for new technology.  The Federal Government needs to help create a market so that new technology can be purchased and older technology can be recycled to low end users.  None of us can afford to keep up with new technology without having a way to recoup some residual value from the older equipment.  Thermal imaging is a good example.  The camera we bought 5 years ago cannot compare with the size, price and effectiveness of the new model.  How do we keep up with the new?  Create a market for the old for smaller communities or other countries les advanced.  Perhaps Canada could send equipment instead of money.  Keep technology flowing.

No. We have received more from the Province than the Federal Government, however, even that has been reduced due to SARS.  JEPP money is scarcer and so is OCIPEP.  Both levels need to increase money available for training, exercises and new technology.

(a)  We have been fortunate with help from:

Ontario Provincial Police

Ministry of Transportation

Office of the Fire Marshal

Emergency Management Ontario

Chief Coroners Office

Forensic Services

The above named provincial resources are very active with us both in a planning and response sense.  We have acquired their assistance on numerous occasions and help is only a few hours away.  All but M.T.O. are in the same Ministry now named Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services to date, the province has not charged us for extra services.

(b) In the event of a major emergency we would need additional policing, fire, transportation assistance, public works, coroner’s office, emergency management assistance, social services, and EMS.  These services would be essential for help.  We strive to be sufficient for 72 hours; however, we would truly need the help within a day in order to be sustainable.  I believe that the province and/or Federal Government should pay.

Our understanding, except for R.C.M.P. and perhaps limited Coast Guard help, assistance is not available from the Federal Government.  The U.S. has FEMA.  We do not.  We do not count on our Federal Government.  I will have assistance from the U.S. before I can get help in my own Country.  I think we can be ashamed of that.

I believe the system could be improved.  There needs to be more funding, however, the Province can decide not to share it with municipalities in any event.  I believe that some discipline needs to be added to ensure that more dollars get to the local municipalities where emergencies start and get handled.

I believe that there could be more dialogue with municipal public safety officials and especially emergency managers.  I have enjoyed some limited financial support; approximately $60,000.00 for assistance with CBRN.  It wasn’t nearly enough and we still need it today.  I had the benefit of attending a meeting in Ottawa and had input on some national research initiatives and networked with other Public Safety agencies and security industry people, however, it didn’t continue.  Fire needs a person at NRC for technology development.

No.  The municipal sector is the first to arrive and begin stabilization.  It needs to be supported.  I have no idea what resources OCIPEP have to assist, initiate or coordinate with too little, too late.

Yes I know of the program.  No procedures.  Equipment and supplies are outdated and relatively useless.  No, I do not believe there was consultation locally.  We do know where it is located, however it is considered useless.  Most of the contents should be replaced and updated.

Canada Customs and Revenue and Citizenship are included and do participate with our emergency planning.  They are very helpful and responsive.  CSIS, on the other hand, is not.  We depend on our local police to provide the intelligence and from the sources they normally communicate with.  Again, the Province is more visible, helpful and accessible and so is RCMP.

We have had exercises for CBRN with DND.  Through Ottawa Fire and Police we have had some training with DND.  The operational people within the CBRN Unit are wonderful and extremely helpful.  We should be aware that we all have one goal and that is to preserve and protect lives.  We must put our ranks aside and work for the common good for all of our residents.



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